Jun 30
Thank You and Have a Great Summer!

Hello Trojans and Bowness Families,

How do you tie up a school year like the one we just had?  How do you sum up the impact of being apart for the past 15 weeks?  As we close in on the end of June, I have to remind myself that a large portion of this year was “normal”, that we shared so many wonderful moments together.  With time, I hope we will all choose to remember the positive parts of the 2019-20 school year and that we take the lessons learned through the pandemic forward with us as we look to reconnect in one way or another in the fall. 

I want to thank a few groups of people who stepped up in ways I could never have imagined before the middle of March.  First, and foremost, my teachers and educational assistants/support staff who work directly with students.  You have been on the frontline of the pandemic in education.  You have found a way to remain connected to your students, to encourage them, to support them and to ensure that their access to education was rich and meaningful.  You did this all while learning new online tools, supporting your own families, and worrying about the health of your loved ones and yourselves.  Unprecedented in our lives to be sure.  You amaze me and I am honoured to work with you all.

To our core office staff and caretaking team who have been in the school with me over the past 15 weeks, day in and day out, thank you for your dedication to keeping this machine moving forward.  We did not have the choice to work from home and you came in every day with smiles on your faces, hand sanitizer on your desks, and a “we are in this together” attitude.  I have greatly appreciated your company, your support, your dedication to your work, and the laughs we have had in this big, empty building.  I simply could not have come out of this in a positive mental state without all of you. 

To our students – thank you for your resilience, your patience and your determination.  You were given an extraordinary set of obstacles to surmount.  You stayed connected to your teachers, you spent meaningful time with your family, you pushed your learning forward, and you had to let go of routines and important landmarks, such as graduation, spring sports, spring fine and performing arts events and end of the year celebrations.  You did this with remarkable poise and grit and I have never been more proud of you all.  I miss you – your laughter, your energy – and very much hope to see you soon.  Grade 12s, fingers crossed that we can celebrate all things you in the fall.  Stay tuned.

To our parents and families, I have to say that we really felt your support through these crazy times.  The emails and phone calls were greatly appreciated.  I know that communication was difficult as we were making decisions in a responsive, as opposed to a measured and planned, manner.  Thank you for your patience with us as we navigated these uncharted waters.  Some compared the last few weeks to flying in an airplane that you are building in the air.  I can say that all of this was much easier given the support and trust you gave us.  A sincere thank you.  This is such a wonderful community.

So, on that note, I wish you all a healthy, restful, rejuvenating summer.  I know I will take some time to reflect on these past weeks – what I have learned, what I have missed, what it means for me moving forward.  I truly believe that the pandemic will make us better in the long run.  

Certainly I will appreciate the sounds that I hope to hear in the fall all the more…buses pulling up, excited teenaged voices, bells ringing, hallway chatter, and, of course, the reminder that, “Everywhere we go, people want to know who we are, so we tell them.  We are the Trojans, the mighty, mighty Trojans from Bowness.  Mighty, mighty Bowness.  Bow what?” 

Sincerely,

Jana Macdonald
Proud Principal of Bowness High School

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