A Thank You To Newtown Students

To the Editor:

This Thursday has been declared “Thank You Thursday” by Newtown High School’s Principal’s Advisory Council (PAC). PAC would like the entire school to take an opportunity to say thank you to someone who has impacted them in a positive way. This is my thank you to Newtown students.

This has been a horribly devastating school year. When Hurricane Sandy blew in and disrupted a week of school and Halloween (again) in the beginning of the year, we had no idea that was just the beginning. We lost Chris, six educators, 20 first graders, and Ben. Our town was thrown into chaos as the media converged over and over. You attended memorial after memorial. You watched your teachers, coaches, scout leaders, spiritual leaders, first responders, and the other adults in your life lose it in ways you don't see adults lose it too often. And you watched them do it over and over.

It would have been very easy for you to give up. To stop doing school work, stop going to school, to walk away from the adults in your lives, to lay down, to check out. Some of you did, but not for long. You got back up. You bounced back with kindness. You hugged those adults either physically or with your words and actions. You showed a resiliency that I didn't think was capable from so many young people. Even better, you got involved. You made choices to stand up. You shared your views. You created art, you voiced your thoughts, you showed the adults in this town that you are going to be OK, that we are going to be OK. You made a difference.

And you were there not just for the adults, but for each other. It was beautiful to observe. Don't stop doing that, keep that kindness going. Carry it with you through your lives. And carry that resiliency with you throughout your lives. You got through this, you can get through anything the future throws at you. Remember what is important - each other. Remember what helped you and help someone else. Remember that it is ok to ask for help and that help is there for you if you need it. Remember that you have a town that loves you and will always be here for you. Remember to come home after you graduate and tell us what great things you have done with your life.

So on this first Thank You Thursday, I thank you for reminding me why I went into teaching. You are all incredible.

With much love,

Lisa Sheridan

FLEX Mathematics

Newtown High School

12 Berkshire Road, Sandy Hook               June 6, 2013

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Thank you for posting this letter

Ms. Sheridan:

What a beautiful letter...thank you for taking the time and being thoughtful enough to tell our children what we all feel.

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