Following a weekend full of games, laughter, conversation, and the outdoors, New Hampton School students and faculty gathered on the lawn facing Pilalas Center for Math and Science for the schools 198th Convocation Ceremony.
Convocation marks the formal start to the academic year. After several days familiarizing new students with Husky Nation and starting to form bonds among houses, classes and individuals, students are eager to get to work and begin to learn the routine for the school year.
Head of School Joe Williams opened the ceremony by recognizing the many individuals involved in launching the start of the school year from the Student Life Office that carefully planned out the orientation activities to the student leaders who arrived early to welcome new and returning classmates.
In particular, Mr. Williams expressed his enthusiasm and optimisim for this particular group of students who will be led by co-presidents Kelly Matthews and Johnny Beaudet. He noted that Kelly and Johnny have worked hard since the previous school year ended, thinking about their hopes and ambitions for the year ahead.
Kelly and Johnny each prepared a few remarks for their classmates. “New Hampton has taught me that there are two types of education,” said Kelly, “there is the kind we get from reading books and the kind we get from interacting within our dynamic community and building relationships with one another. Both are of course important; however, both are not found everywhere.” Johnny reflected on how quickly his three years have passed and recognized that his time at New Hampton School is fleeting. He implored his classmates to make the most of their time at school. “Let’s make memories,” he encouraged his peers. “Let’s live in the moments we have left. Let’s give it all we’ve got.”
Mr. Tobin’s Remarks
Mr. Tobin was invited to be the school’s convocation speaker after he was elected by students in the spring as the O’Connor Teaching in Excellence award recipient. Mr. Tobin reflected on an adventurous summer in Europe and traveling through the mountains of the Northeast; how he was now recharged and ready to begin the school year. He recalled his own high school experience, and how, though he appreciates his opportunities, the students at New Hampton School are incredibly lucky for the multidimensional experience they will have at a residential school.
Referencing the all-school read, Mr. Tobin reminded students to listen and take action. “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Get to know your roommate, classmates, and teammates. Become friends with day students, get off campus, and explore this area of New Hampshire.” With regard to the fear and loneliness that sometimes arises when navigating high school, Mr. Tobin said, “I think you’ll realize that connecting with other humans is the best remedy. Reaching out to others, listening to them, and surrounding yourself with the people here will keep you stimulated, involved, and connected.”
Lifelong Learners and Active Global Citizens
Today marks the start of New Hampton School’s 198th academic year. Following their first formal dinner on Sunday evening, student returned to their residence houses filled with anticipation and nervousness. Before closing the ceremony, Mr. Williams reminded the community that “As we begin our academic year, I hope we can universally commit to our core values of respect and responsibility and that each and every day, we embody our mission to be lifelong learners and active global citizens.”