Weston Public Schools Opening Convocation – August 24, 2018

(Free Verse Written to be Read Aloud)

William S. McKersie, Ph.D. Superintendent


They Arrive

Walking, strolling, running, some wheeled and pushed.

They arrive, 2300 strong.

Singing, talking, shouting, laughing, smiling.

Some silent, some crying, some frowning.

They arrive, 2300 strong.

Curious, keen-eyed, exploring, wondering, and dreaming.

They arrive, 2300 strong.


They Start

Welcomes are shared.

Names learned.

Buddies found.

They start, 2300 strong.

Books opened.

Papers, crayons, pens, pencils arranged.

Devices plugged and unplugged.

They start, 2300 strong


Selected with care for the new school year.

Carried with pride, backpacks. Some all day.

Others unloaded into cubbies and lockers. Does it all fit?

They start, 2300 strong.

Teammates old and new, together.

Captains Circle.

Budding leaders trained.

Just this fall: football, soccer, runners, field hockey, swimmers, volleyball, cheerleaders.

They start, 2300 strong.

Singers, violinists, bassists, trumpets, trombones

Who plays the guitar?

Can you harmonize, carry that tune?

Join our group.

Sing on. Play on. It is a district of song.

They start, 2300 strong.


They Grow

Lessons long planned, now are shared.

New books, new texts.

Character, plot, chapters, themes, denouement, the critical points.

What? Why all that? I just like to read!

They grow, 2300 strong.

Numbers, in lines, in order.

Equations, algebraic and quadratic.

Geometry, pre-algebra, algebra, calculus AB and BC.

What? Why all that? I just like to count!

They grow, 2300 strong.

Spanish, Mandarin, Latin, French

World Languages galore.

What? Why all that? My mother tongue has been just fine!

They grow, 2300 strong.

Plants, flowers, life cycles, cells, DNA.

Moles multiply.

Forces collide.

Biology, Chemistry, Physics.

Global warming, really?

Environmental science may be the answer.

What? Why all that? Do I have to know how it all works?

They grow, 2300 strong.

Brushes, pencils, pens

Paintings, drawings, sketches emerge.

Photos, videos, audio – all digital now.

Dreams and visions take form—in multiple media.

What? Why all that? Just let me sit and talk!

They grow, 2300 strong.


They Fail

A grade short.

Scores below the average.

An essay not proofread.

A computation error missed.

An experiment flops.

Conjugation slips.

They fail, 2300 strong.

A layup missed.

Out-raced at the end.

A pass dropped.

A bad first touch.

A runner slips through.

A cheer forgotten.

They fail, 2300 strong.

Harmonies don’t blend.

The violin’s not tuned.

Practice hours slip.

Lines are dropped.

Notes misread and misplayed.

They fail, 2300 strong.

A friend says, try this.

They can’t say, no.

A friend says, it won’t hurt.

They can’t say, no.

A friend says, meet me.

They can’t say, no.

They fail, 2300 strong.

The Tweet is mean.

The Snapchat is rude.

Social media is cruel.

The stuff goes viral.

We adults miss it all.

They fail, 2300 strong.


And, (Yet) They Soar

We pick them up.

(You all pick them up.)

We correct the errors.

We coach away the mistakes.

We teach new knowledge.

And, They Soar, 2300 strong.

From pain, comes wisdom.

From failure, comes wisdom.

From struggle, comes wisdom.

So said Aeschylus.

We share that wisdom.

And, They Soar, 2300 strong.

Lessons succeed.

Teams win.

Choirs and bands blend.

Relations are mended.

Getting along becomes getting along.

And, They Soar, 2300 strong.

The oldest, the seniors, move on.

To colleges and next steps well matched.

They leave, ready and well prepared.

They remember the Castle on the Hill.

Weston, their Castle on the Hill.

They look back on their 200 – their fellow seniors.

Who came from the 2300.

And, They Soar, 2300 strong.


Beginnings, Endings and Beginnings

I end with a beginning.


A cycle of beginnings and endings.


When done right, brings new beginnings.

This school year. This school year.

2018-19, to be technical.

Hmmm…I pause.

Hmmm…I wonder.

Hmmm…I say,

Here’s to a beginning, a middle and an end.

Sparking new beginnings,

For our 2300 strong.

Sparking new beginnings,

For our 2300 strong.