Dear Star Families,
Last Wednesday, I was in the middle of reading the upcoming Sunday gospel (MT 25:14-30) in hopes of breaking through writer’s block. And just as I was about to call it quits, into my office walked the inspiration of this installment of the Principal’s Weekly letter.
The mere mention of his name has those of us who taught him smiling widely, and saying with some amusement, “Oh, Terrance.” He was one of those little kids who had a disarming, dimpled smile, an utterly unique way of looking at the world, and more importantly, was a boy with the kindest of hearts – all of which he has not outgrown.
To illustrate, I have to introduce into this story, Thomas. Thomas was our neighborhood homeless man who passed away last year. All the kids knew him, many cared for him, and this year the parish is honoring him with their annual Thanksgiving food drive.
Long before the healthy snack rule and before we even knew Mr. Hanley, Ms. Dominguez remembers Terrance getting reprimanded for bringing $20 to school to spend at our cookie sale. The principal at the time scolded Terrance saying that he absolutely did not need to eat 20 dollars’ worth of cookies. And little Terrance, unperturbed, simply smiled up at her, saying, “Well, I thought I’d buy Thomas some cookies because I bet he’s never tasted cookies as good as the ones here.”
You see, when Terrance attended Star, he took extra special care of Thomas, selflessly sharing the gifts he had. And as typical instructors, we were unaware of the sort of special care we, in turn, gave Terrance while he was ours. It took his recent visit to inform us.
“After my first week of bootcamp, I went and sat in church and I just cried and cried,” said Terrance, now a Marine with a pin that reads, Rifle Expert, “It was so, so hard, and of all things, I thought of Star of the Sea, everyone here, and I just knew I had to come visit.”
It’s moments like these, when alumni come to tell us of how much we mean to them, that I am reminded of the unseen impact of what we do here at Star. We offer familiar comfort: the reliability of church, the sweetness of childhood, and people who love you, no matter how old you are, or how naughty you might have been. How thankful I am for all the talented people in this place. Who, on a daily basis, live out Sunday’s gospel by using their gifts to help our students discover their
talents, so that when our kids become adults, they, too, are moved to share the goodness of who they are with the larger community.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I want to remind each of you of how grateful I am and how much you are loved for who you are:
- THANK YOU for all the gifts you share with all of us here at Star of the Sea.
- THANK YOU for inspiring me with your model of generosity and service.
- THANK YOU for allowing me to serve you and your children.
- THANK YOU for your choice to be part of Star of the Sea’s Catholic Community. It is because of you that we are the family that we are!
- THANK YOU for your amazing children, who I am blessed to work with on a daily basis.
- THANK YOU for accepting me as principal and giving me the opportunity to build upon the great model of spirituality, love, academic rigor, and support established by Mr. Hanley’s leadership and care.
- THANK YOU for the support and everything you’ve shared: your time, talents and treasures, to help me find my footing as I fulfill this role in support of Star’s amazing teachers and staff.
- And most of all, THANK YOU, because in the short time that I’ve occupied this office, you’ve unequivocally reminded me of the reasons why I continue to call Star home.
I wish you a very blessed, Happy Thanksgiving. May your travels be safe and your time with your family be peaceful and full of love & laughter.
Mrs. Theresa Poon