Posted on November 19, 2022
Thanksgiving celebrations began this past Thursday for me.
One of the great joys as principal of the preschool and elementary is seeing the students and faculty gathered altogether, similar to the occasions when my own ʻohana gathers at my home. I always wondered, when my own children were quite young, why my father would sit quietly at family gatherings and not say very much but seemed content, smiling, as he observed the grandchildren rambunctious, noisy, darting between aunts and uncles. As I get older, I think I can understand his reticence.
We revived the practice of monthly assemblies last week Thursday, a long-standing tradition that began in 2005 when the elementary and preschool moved into their new classrooms. The assembly served as a community-building tradition where the notion of "community" was clearly visible. At the assembly this past week, the first assembly of the year, I shared a brief history of Mid-Pacific and an explanation of the names of their classrooms, all names of birds endemic to Hawaiʻi. At past assemblies, students have shared what theyʻre learning, such as class inquiries or projects. The tradition was temporarily put on hold in March 2020 with the onset of the pandemic but has now been put back on our school calendar as we have learned to live more safely with Covid.
The preschoolers and kindergartners sat knee-to-knee on the mats and other grade levels seated row after row behind them. Just the sight of the students, faculty, and staff just like that, altogether, sparked a jolt of emotion that caught in my throat. Perhaps that was the same reaction my dad experienced whenever the entire family gathered together, especially for special occasions and holidays. Speechless because the heart is so filled with joy. I understood that feeling of deep gratitude when the vision of 300+ students and faculty gathered in the dining room for the first time since March 2020 caught me by surprise. It was a sight to behold.
This Thanksgiving when the family gathers for the traditional meal, I think Iʻll become my father, quiet and content. I have come to realize that beneath his calm demeanor was a deep well of joy. Counting your blessings only proves that there are always too many to count, reminding us of how grateful we should be for the abundance we experience in our relationships with family and friends.
The faculty, staff, and I appreciate your children, your support, and the few days of respite before heading into an even busier last three weeks of the fall semester and 2022. Our very best wishes to our Mid-Pacific families and friends for a blessed Thanksgiving. For you, we give thanks with a grateful heart.
E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.