Staff Goodbye: Making Gandalf Proud


Photo Credit: Josh Jovanelly

By: Josh Jovanelly, Journalism Advisor 

To the Class of 2021: 


At so many moments over this past year, I have thought about one of my favorite scenes from the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Gandalf and Frodo, who is carrying the all-powerful ring and effectively the fate of the world around his neck, tells Gandalf that he wishes the ring had never come to him, and that all the pain and suffering it caused had never happened.

Gandalf replies: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for us to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that’s been given us.”

None of us — not students, parents, teachers, or administrators — had much choice in what the world threw at us over the last year during this pandemic. But we did, and always do, have the ability to decide how we meet the moment in the time that we are given. From full remote instruction to hybrid learning to something in between, we have met this moment as a family and as a community, and for that I could not be more proud.

You could have folded when faced with all the obstacles of this school year, but you didn’t. You learned to adapt to new learning environments, to new health and safety protocols, and to a new world. 

And so you carry on, in a new way than those before you, but not so different in fundamental ways. You are entering your adult life with your eyes perhaps open a little wider than classes before you. You are more privy to the knowledge that self-belief, drive and grit cannot be stunted by Zoom or by a virus, and that your success has and always has been in your hands.

It has been an honor to meet this moment with you. I am eternally grateful that in this time you were given, you not only faced it, but you excelled despite it. Like Frodo and the ring, this pandemic will one day pass. But the lessons you learned about yourselves and the strength of the Owl family will continue to live on.