Friday, August 12, 2016

New Faculty Orientation Speech by Rising Senior, Jacqueline Reynolds

 The following remarks are from rising senior, Jacqueline Reynolds, to our new faculty:
Hi, my name is Jacqueline Reynolds and I am honored to be apart of your introduction to Trinity Valley. I am going into my senior year and I would not be the person I am today without the encouragement, dedication, and inspiration from many of my teachers at TVS.
         I came to Trinity Valley in the fifth grade, entering middle school with a sense of anticipation, a little anxiety, and no idea what I was passionate about. It is normal for most eleven and twelve year olds to not be focused on their goals and aspirations in life. However, two teachers saw a gift I had for writing and pushed me towards exploring this subject. Mr. Snyder and Mrs. Harper, my seventh and eighth grade English teachers, challenged me with academic papers, creative writing papers, and research presentations. Most of my middle school classmates saw these assignments as dreadful last minute homework, yet I enjoyed the reading, the revisions, and the opportunity to express the power of words through writing. These teachers noticed this about me and lead me down the path to finding a passion of mine at such an early age.
         I continued down this path as I entered upper school, loving my English classes. Mr. Jacob was my ninth grade English teacher. On the first day of school, he walked into the classroom in a white suite, and his high intellectual intelligence intimidated me at first. Throughout the year, I developed a curiosity around more creative forms of writing. He urged me to take a Creative Writing course in order to discover an entire different level in this field. And then this past year, he pushed me to apply to summer intensives all over the country. I ended up getting accepted into the Juniper Institute at the University of Massachusetts, and it was one of the most life changing experiences I have ever had. I appreciate a teacher’s ability to see something in a child and challenge them to chase their passions, dreams, or gifts.
         I have valued more than just a discovery for a passion of mine with the help of TVS faculty. My sophomore year, I signed up for the TOE Costa Rica hiking trip lead by Sra. Bussey, my Spanish teacher. When I was having doubts about the challenging adventure ahead, she took the time to sit down with me and talk through my fears and hesitations. Building these relationships with faculty surpass the academic excellence at Trinity Valley.
I have found that emotional intelligence, such as understanding our world and how to become the independent people we as growing students strive to be, is highly valued at this school. I am surrounded by motivated, driven classmates who are engaged in all different subjects. Many just need that push from a teacher to find that drive or motivation.
Appreciation and respect for the country I live in, commitment and confidence in my personal beliefs, the quadratic formula, the qualities of a leader, the process of revising a poem eight or more times, awareness of my surroundings and of the fortune in my education, the biological build up of a human being, the maturity and advantages in meeting with teachers outside of class, the simple complexity of Hemingway’s words, dedication to the school community. Whether these lessons helped me inside or outside the classroom, they have given me a greater understanding of the world beyond the gates of Trinity Valley.
So welcome and as you begin your time here, hopefully you will find that spark in each of your students and they’ll ignite a spark within you too.


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