The remnants of the recent rainy weather events might have made for a gloomy, gray day on the morning of September 5, 2012—if the cheerfulness of our Peck community didn’t more than make up for the difference!
Three hundred and thirty-seven students returned from summer vacation to their first day of classes at The Peck School in Morristown, NJ; happy to see their friends and teachers, cheerful when helping new and younger students find classrooms, and full of stories about summer adventures. Waiting on hand to welcome students were Headmaster John Kowalik, Lower School Head Nina Sharma, Admission Director Erin Ceder, and just about the entire eighth grade.
As leaders on our campus, eighth graders are invited to help welcome and ease transitions for each new school year’s crop of Peck students. Some greet each car, lending a helping hand with backpacks, and, while bending down for a face-to-face hello, answer each student’s eager question: “Who is my homeroom teacher?”
Others are stationed in lower school classrooms, helping with books and desk assignments. Yet another group gleefully documents the morning using a slew of point-and-shoot cameras. And some, known as the Kindergarten Helpers, do what they will do every morning this year—be a few of the first friendly faces that our 5- and 6-year-old students see upon arrival. (Eighth grade Kindergarten Helper volunteers greet and escort Kindergarten students between 7:40 and 8:00 am every morning, rotating by term.)
After settling into their classrooms, grades one through eight and faculty gathered for the year’s first All-School Assembly in the Old Gym. Headmaster Kowalik gave a warm welcome, and talked about one of Peck’s Core Values: Perseverance. By happy chance, the summer’s XXX Olympics held in London provided the perfect starting point for discussion. After presenting a short video, our headmaster asked the student body to brainstorm what all of the gold medal winners have in common (besides the medal, of course!) Students tossed out answers from “hard work” to “strength and toughness” to “they’re people?” and managed to touch on the real answer—each athlete had the perseverance to carry on throughout losses and mistakes. Mr. Kowalik challenged the students to do the same; to set gold-medal goals for themselves this year, and realize that the journey—with all of its mistakes, missteps, and both highs and lows—requires the perseverance to keep going, to keep trying, and to keep learning.
Check out our photo galleries of the first day of classes, and the previous day’s Orientation Events.
To learn more about The Peck School, click here.