Below is an excerpt from Dr. Konigsberg’s remarks to the Turning Point School graduating class of 2018:
Graduates, look at this packed theater. We are all here for you, to celebrate your educational journey through Turning Point School. Some of you started in Primary or Kindergarten, and many of you came to Turning Point along the way. You are all treasured members of our community. And as communities do, we have come together on this joyful and pivotal occasion—a very special turning point—to witness this culminating moment.
There is very little that I would rather do than talk about great literature with smart young people, so facilitating your book club meetings is always a highlight for me. This year we had the chance to analyze The Odyssey, The Crucible, Catcher in the Rye, and March, all of which explored themes of personal legacy; of the individual’s role, responsibilities, and identity when faced with dramatic, larger-than-life events. Our rich discussions about these pertinent issues impressed upon me your intellect, maturity, generosity, and humor.
Many of you may be familiar with the graphic novel, March, about iconic Congressman John Lewis’ early days in the Civil Rights movement.
March describes the seminal events in Mr. Lewis’ life from growing up in a family of sharecroppers to organizing sit-ins to protest segregation in Nashville lunch counters, to his relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his key role in the 1963 March on Washington. March provides a first-hand, intimate look at this volatile and rousing time. March is also a verb—and in the imperative tense, no less—urging young people to understand the Civil Rights Movement and to feel inspired to build upon the work of earlier social justice activists. March is a story that features integrity, conscience, and hope for future transformation. As Congressman Lewis said, “I tell people all the time if you see something that is not fair, not right, and not just, then you have a moral obligation to do something about it—to get in the way, to get in trouble.”
You are that future, and I know your time at Turning Point has helped you to conceive of the ways you can “get in the way” to disrupt the status quo, “getting in trouble” both by learning history and creating your own.
You have made your own history here by launching the Capstone Projects, using your passion to positively affect your community. You inspired others, raised awareness of social issues, overcame challenges and found solutions, and created something that did not exist previously that helped people in need. You have demonstrated in this project, and in many other ways, the power of your intellect, the depth of your passion for social change, the integrity of your character, the breadth of your caring and empathy, and the wide scope of your curiosity and talents.
You have also bettered our Turning Point community and the larger community as mentors—with fifth grade mentees, with your preschool buddies, as the elders in your Turning Point Family Groups, as admissions ambassadors, and as tutors and mentors to the second graders at Weemes Elementary School. Make no mistake: you have made a difference in myriad ways.
I am excited for you to begin the next stage in your educational “marches” that will leave the world better than you found it. You leave behind a rich legacy. You probably know from study with Ms. Bender that legacy comes from the Latin legatus, or ambassador. Its roots from 15th century Scottish also suggest a gift, something to remember one by.
As you embark on your next adventure, you’ll represent Turning Point superbly. And you will leave behind the gifts of your intellect, your creativity, your curiosity, your service to our school, and the next generation of mentors for whom you have shaped their view and practice of leadership. You will always have a home here at Turning Point.
Thank you for everything, and good luck to you all.
Dr. Laura Konigsberg
Head of School