As I watch the calendar pages flip, I see my days at Fenn are limited. Three and a half weeks is the count. This time is quite bittersweet to be honest, I am happy to be harvested in high school, but I am sad to leave this place that has helped me blossom. In these last few weeks, I will be reflecting a lot about how Fenn has helped me become the person I am today. My success as a student, athlete, and extracurricular participant are because of Fenn. Since my earliest days in fourth grade, Fenn has fostered me and helped mold who I am today, and here are the reasons how.
When I came in fourth grade, I was a little bit scared to move on to “the big leagues,” as I thought about it then. Moving from third to fourth grade and switching school seemed like graduating college for me, but Fenn helped me through this time and comforted my fears. There is one person in particular who really reached out to me and her name was Ms. Finney. Ms. Finney comforted me into the school as a young and scared fourth grader, but she also wasn’t so light on me and made sure to tell me when I was out of control. Of course as a fourth grader I thought she was mean for putting me back in line when I was breaking the “ground rules” of class, but now I look back at it as something that really helped me.
I flew through fifth grade like Fenn was my second home. I had friends, I wasn’t getting into that much trouble at school, and I was loving Fenn. When sixth grade came, there was a huge step to take. Up until this time, all of my classes had been in the same rooms and the room next door. In sixth grade, we were traveling from different buildings and walking to classes unsupervised. That left a huge gap to goof around, which I did a fair amount, but I also knew when enough was enough from my fourth grade teacher, Ms. Finney. In seventh grade, the classes were pretty much the same, not too hard, but challenging enough. In seventh grade fall, I was one of three seventh graders to make Varsity Soccer. Our coach, Mr. Starensier has been a huge role model for me ever since he took me on his team in seventh grade and really boosted my confidence. Other than that, sixth and seventh grade felt the same, it was the true middle school years and it was fun, but I had been looking up to the eighth and ninth graders for years, just wishing I could be one of them.
Eighth grade was a blast, the homework was on the lighter side and I was really enjoying my time with friends and sports. I was on three varsity sports, so finding time to balance sports, academics, and social time was hard, but it taught me how to manage my time, and I really appreciate Fenn for helping me set that up well for high school. As the year began to end, I knew I would be coming back to Fenn for ninth grade, but more than half our grade was leaving. There are a bunch of kids I knew very well who left, but I have been able to talk to them, and we are still very much friends.
Now, as ninth grade is ending, and I will be leaving this wonderful place in a matter of weeks, I want to look back on what Fenn has done to help me. Fenn has prepared me well for high school and other places of education. It has done this by teaching me how to manage time and teaching me how to have fun, without goofing off too much. Fenn has also set me up with life long friendships. I once heard an alum talk about Fenn people as, “Once a Fenn boy, always a Fenn boy.” He mentioned this and talked about how many of his groomsmen at his wedding were Fenn kids that he went to school with almost 20 years earlier.
So, yes, I will miss Fenn very much, but it is good for me to know, and for Fenn to know, that I have been set up to succeed in life.