This Parents Newsletter features some highlights of the winter term here at the Academy. Describing Exeter as a "winter hot spot" might, at first glance, seem to be a bit of hyperbole (especially given January's cold), but I suspect after reading about all that has taken place on campus the past couple of months, you might not find it quite so far-fetched.
I have observed that parents and grandparents have become an ever-increasing resource for the programs, speakers and exhibits that enliven our lives and spark our interest. The mother of Katie Seno '03, Hiroko Seno, who demonstrated a chakabo tea ceremony, and Joseph Ramirez, the grandfather of Joseph J. Ramirez '03, a Mexican-American who works with Latino immigrants, join a growing group of family members who have brought their talents, enthusiasm and wisdom to Exeter.
Parents may not always be the featured visitors but they often provide suggestions about interesting speakers and supply introductions to those people. Our students are an independent group, and with a small amount of guidance they can usually handle the rest of the planning and organization.
Our dorms and sports teams also benefit from parent involvement. Cheering in the stands or providing a check-in treat are all valuable ways to be part of your child's Academy life.
The benefit of these collaborations to the Academy community is clear. Joseph Ramirez's article (see previous page) is an eloquent example of a less obvious, but just as important benefit: the pride and greater understanding between student and family member that grow out of these visits.
Of course, your involvement with your child at the Academy extends to many other areas of their Exeter experience. Internet access and phone hookups for all boarding students give parents and children the chance to touch base as needed. We keep looking for more ways in which that important connection and support can be maintained and fostered.
This newsletter; The Exeter Bulletin; the Parents Handbook; the Academy's website (www.exeter.edu) and particularly the Parents section; invitations to events across the country; and communications from advisers, dorm heads, the dean of students and me are all designed to keep you abreast of life at the school and provide information about how your child is doing. I hope that the news and information we furnish forms the basis of conversations when you and your child are together.
"Connection" is an important word here at the Academy. We have found that the students who have the most connections to others are the happiest and the most successful. Of vital importance are connections among family members. We believe that when a child comes to Exeter there are many ways to make those connections stronger and for you, your family and your child to share her or his experience here.
--Tyler C. Tingley '48, '64, '01 (Hon.), P'99 Principal