School NewsSep 13, 2023
— updated Nov 13, 2023
Intentional, Aspirational, and Relational
Kicking off the School Year!
The 2023-24 academic year officially opened Thursday with students, faculty, and staff gathering to mark the day.
Held in Centennial Hall, Convocation began with a procession of ninth graders, sophomores, and juniors. They, in turn, welcomed the seniors, who each carried roses, an MHS tradition honoring their leadership.
School President Iva Knezevic ’24 opened the program by ringing the School Bell that belonged to Founder Mira Hall. She followed by introducing school and class leaders, then sharing remarks reflecting on this year’s theme, “Me, You, Us,” finding one’s place in a community, and the meaning of “convocation.”
“Though we are still a community when we are apart, summer is a time when each of us find individuality and our place away from MHS,” Iva said. Thursday’s gathering of diverse individuals from a global community, she continued, defines convocation for her. “The Book of the School perhaps best represents the unity of these individuals and emphasizes the distinction of our identities across history,” Iva added. “I am honored to welcome new students to this meaningful tradition.”
In her remarks, Head of School Julia Heaton reflected on what it means to be an intentional, aspirational, and relational community, the essence of Miss Hall’s School.
“We are intentional in our mission and aspirational in our vision,” Ms. Heaton noted. “We take our work seriously because we know it is still relevant, necessary, and not done. This year, I hope you will be intentional — in your words and actions and choices. I hope you will be aspirational – setting big audacious goals.”
And, Ms. Heaton continued, it is also important to leave time for the relational moments, formal and informal, and the interpersonal relationships that have been proven to be essential to mental health, to a strong sense of self, and to the common good.
“Allow some room for the surprises, the unexpected turns, the detours, the playful in-between times, the unintentional moments,” she said. “Allow yourself to be ridiculous, silly, and even a little cringe. This is how you will be more fully human, more fully you.”
Ms. Heaton then introduced members of the School’s Leadership Team, who introduced new faculty and staff. Longtime MHS employees were recognized for their years of service to the School: Archivist Marieanne Clark P’06, 20 years; and Manager of Buildings & Ground Tom Boino, Senior Campus Safety Officer Jim Lyman, and Phoebe Goodhue Milliken ’37 English Department Chair Julie Schutzman, Ph.D., all 15 years.
New students — 70 of them! — were then invited to sign the Book of the School, which lists the names of every student to attend Miss Hall’s.
“When you sign the Book of School, you show your commitment to the School’s core values — respect, honor, authenticity, and growth,” Ms. Heaton added. “You become part of the School’s 125-year history, present, and future. You become part of the global community of thousands of MHS students and graduates around the world.”
As students signed, leaders of the Bigs (formerly Big Sisters) shared fun facts about the new Littles.
After singing the alma mater, students processed through a line of applauding faculty, and everyone gathered in the Front Circle for the traditional all-school photograph.
It’s going to be a great year!
Held in Centennial Hall, Convocation marks the official start of the 2023-24 school year.