While it is only natural for each school carrying the Hyde banner to develop its own identity and pride, the hope is that they will collectively reflect a united and compelling commitment to a higher cause, that of finding a better way for all kids and families. For those of us who have been on the ground floor of the founding of these schools, it is especially gratifying when their students and teachers join together in common effort. At the Hyde-Woodstock graduation last week, Ryan Hometh ’09 captured it pretty well in his graduation speech:
Ryan Wesley Hometh
Last summer I was faced with a challenging decision – return to Hyde or return to public school. After much thought, I apprehensively made the decision to give up the freedom and instant gratifications of home in order to finish off my last year of high school in Woodstock, Connecticut. Throughout the year, I had my ups and downs, but my journey was essential to who I am today and where I will go in the future.
Though I have had many significant experiences throughout the year, I can pinpoint my defining moment without hesitation. In October 2008, a group of students, including me, went down to the Hyde-Bronx School to teach and share with a group of sixth graders for a day. I went to the Bronx expecting a giving experience – expecting the children to learn from me. What I did not anticipate was what I got back from the experience. The 11 and 12 year olds taught me the power of conscience, concern, and humility in their purest form; from the mind of a child. I had completely underestimated these children, unaware that I could learn as much or more from them as they could from me. There are few moments in my life where I can say I felt so inspired and passionate. For the first time at Hyde I had found the feeling of being at my best.
As I look to the future, in October 2009 I will be attending college in New York City, not far from the Hyde-Bronx School. Although I plan on studying business, I cannot predict the path my life will take, however, I am sure of one thing: wherever life takes me, my goal is to feel as I did in the Bronx. That day I followed my conscience, let go of my ego, and felt in my soul what it means to be at my best.
Ryan heads off to Wagner College in September.
Onward, Malcolm Gauld