It’s compelling to consider the beginning of the school year and the end of the school year. On one hand, they truly are undeniably different in a number of regards.
The beginning of the school year holds a wealth of possibilities.
How can we grow? What can we learn? Where is our path going to lead us? How many hiccups will we navigate along the way?
Are my teachers going to be nice?
Am I going to make any new friends?
On the other side, the end of the year is filled with reflection—opportunities to consider one’s successes and accomplishments as well as the curve balls thrown along the way.
And in all the ways they are different, they are also the same in a number of respects.
For in both, there is a eagerness, an energy that cannot be matched. One that makes your body tingle and keeps you alert to take it all in. Smiles undeniably abound just as much on the first day as the last day. And every day in the books is a win in and of itself; for there cannot possibly be a day that goes by where one learns nothing. On the cusp of starting something new, a requisite transition period is full of a lot of gains—no matter how bumpy it is along the way.
Perhaps the greatest struggles lie in the fear of the unknown and discomfort in trying something new. How can we ease transition and use it to our advantage?
Exploring all the ways in which something novel can be fun and how to harness the energy solicited by the first day of school or the last day of school can be an excellent way to assuage concerns of the unknown and appreciate the day for what it is: the beginning of opportunities versus the ending of something new and unique.
28 years ago, Jacque Murray, now Program Supervisor in the Vanguard Transition Center, remarked that the program received support “beyond our wildest dreams.” Certainly, that statement still applies to the program in its current form. What started as a small, post-graduate program with 13 students enrolled in the pilot year, 1986, has blossomed into The Vanguard Transition Center: a program for young adults, ages 18-21, that serves 55 students and affords myriad work-study and other learning opportunities. Classes in current events, healthy lifestyles and human social development are offered to all students, along with community-based activities and recreational opportunities.
And Mrs. Murray is still at the helm of The VTC nearly three decades later, acting as its Program Supervisor. She is committed to ensuring young adults in need of additional education and critical life and job skills development receive the best services and opportunities possible.
Also pictured below is Jim Kane, who acted as the Adjustment Counselor in the beginning stages of the post-graduate program, and Ty Morgan, a beloved, long-time teacher at The Vanguard School consistently lauded for his contributions to the academic community and commitment to upholding ethical standards. Plaques commemorating Mr. Morgan’s efforts continue to hang in the Jarmon and Activities Centers here on campus.
Read on for a trip down memory lane.