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The Value of Voice

It has been a joy to hear the din of our girls’ and staff’s voices at 21 St. Clements Avenue.

Over the past two weeks, as our community has adjusted to a very different environment and protocols, I have noted a gradual and wonderful shift. While we all work hard to maintain distance, adjust to masking, and find our way around the building with one-way directions, the sound of learning and playing is coming back. I can’t express just how much this makes me smile.

I was musing with a staff member on Friday about all the times in previous years that I have had to leave a meeting or while doing work to ask our Grades 7 and 8 students, working in the hall nearest my office, to lower their voices or refocus. It is interesting- but perhaps not surprising-  how we now miss what might have seemed like an imposition at another time.

These moments of appreciation are ones to hold on to, and that put things into perspective.

This weekend we lost an icon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and fearless advocate for civil rights. Known affectionately by so many as the Notorious RBG, Justice Bader Ginsburg was a remarkable woman who used her intellect, work, and voice to implement important change for women in the United States.

It was Ginsburg who, at one time said, “So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune.”

At St. Clement’s School, the importance of ensuring our girls’ voices are heard is paramount; we must always be nurturing confidence, curiosity, and individual passions, and to provide as many opportunities as possible to speak up and out about the things they care about.

While I know Ginsburg’s wise words addressed much stronger and systemic impediments, they reminded me, in this moment, of the joy and value of our girls’ voices and the imperative of reminding ourselves of how we must turn impediments into great, good fortunes.

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