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The SEM Weekly

2017 Letter from Head of School

Helen L. Marlette


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Dear SEM Community,

It is a quiet sunny morning in Buffalo.  School is closed in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., and I have the opportunity to reflect about the holiday, my first six months as head of school, and to collect my thoughts for the next. It is in this quiet that the words of Miss Angell come to mind: “Make what happens to you, good for you,” and “Bring to life the undiscovered self in each individual girl.”

Her sentiments and the dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr. seem to go hand in hand and provide us direction. This year is going to be a year of change. Change can be unsettling and it can be inspiring: it is in the midst of change that we must help our students gain confidence and have courage to move forward with the convictions of who they are and what they believe.

Miss Angell spoke of each girl finding her individuality.  I agree mostly, but I also hope that in finding herself, a girl will remember she remains part of a bigger whole.

The SEM community, built upon trust and respect, demands more of us. We need to push this concept beyond an individual pursuit of finding self.

We are fortunate to go to school and work with students and faculty from all over the world. We are exposed daily to a variety of opinions and ideas which challenge our assumptions and require us to think.  We can work together to build a sense of place at SEM where everyone is included and valued.  I believe our SEM can be a model for all schools.

The spirit of “make what happens to you, good for you,” is an eternally valuable lesson, but here too we can expand upon this idea.  Today, our students have the chance to pursue all their dreams. They can actively engage in creating opportunities for themselves and others. Yes, sometimes things will happen to us -and we will need resilience and strength to respond. Yet, we also must encourage SEM students to be proactive and take the chance to create the life they dream for themselves and for the world.

Optimistically,

Helen L. Marlette

Head of School

2 Comments

2 Responses to “2017 Letter from Head of School”

  1. Gwen Baggs Ito '81 on January 19th, 2017 4:20 AM

    Great thoughts for the new year! Thank you, Mrs. Marlette.

    [Reply]

  2. Melanie Tunkey on February 9th, 2017 11:12 PM

    Very well put. Thank you for putting forth your effort to write this – it spoke to me, as I’m sure it did to everyone else who read it too.
    Looking at you even just as the head of school at SEM, you are achieving great things. Although this is my first year here, I wholeheartedly believe that no one else could fit the position of leader better than you. Every day you work to do your best. Every day you are touching not the lives of only young students, but of the future women of the world. Your job is very important, but you take it to all new levels, and for that, along with your wit, is why I believe you deserve your rank.
    Although this is only one letter that you wrote, I wanted to take this opportunity to bounce off of what you said, and thank you. With your help, SEM has kept a fortible foundation, with nothing but fun mysteries within its cracks. I admire you, as a headmaster, and as a person.
    Thank you for helping my experience at SEM be such an amazing one. Thank you for trying to help our experience on Earth be an amazing one.

    [Reply]

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2017 Letter from Head of School