This is the time of year when schools across the country usually start their “home stretch”. The weather warms up. Recess gets a little more joyful. And the oldest students start to look out the window a little more often, daydreaming of what comes next. Trinity’s eighth grade class has had a lot to process in the past few years, and this year’s ending is not what they thought it would be. I’ve been thinking about how strange and anticlimactic this school year ending must be for our eighth graders. I’ve been reminded, too, of one student we lost who would have graduated this year, and how that loss impacts our current students even now. I’m very thankful, though, that we were able to celebrate the life of this very special student just before our transition away from the building and into online instruction.
We held our second annual Emilio’s Fun Run on Friday, March 6th in the gym. All of our students from preschool through eighth grade participated. While our younger students were filled with excitement and school spirit to be a part of this weeklong event, I know that for our soon-to-be grads, our faculty, and for me, this run was about celebrating a boy’s life, and reminding ourselves that we can all make a difference for the better.
Emilio was just a 6th grade student when he was diagnosed with cancer in February 2018. He passed away, surrounded by his family, later that year. He was a gentle soul who was a friend to everyone he met, and who excelled in his academics. He was also a gifted runner, leading Trinity’s cross country team as both a 5th and 6th grader. He loved the outdoors, and was participating in Coach Butler’s Outdoor Education program at the time of his diagnosis.
As a community, we wanted to honor Emilio for all of his special traits, so we started a scholarship fund in his name. Our first Emilio’s Fun Run was held in March 2019, and raised enough money to award a full academic scholarship for one deserving student. As luck would have it, that student came from Emilio’s own class– Trinity’s Class of 2020.
Through the overwhelming support of Trinity families and friends, this year’s Fun Run was another success for Emilio’s scholarship fund. Our students and their families raised almost $10,000. As we move forward, we will again offer either a full scholarship for the 2020-21 school year or several partial scholarships.
You hear a lot about 2020, or 20/20…about 20/20 vision, and hindsight, being perfect, for example. This year’s students of 2020 have nothing certain ahead of them, though, at least for the short term. So I am taking a moment to look back, where things look clear. I see a young man who didn’t know that his legacy was to provide scholarship aid to future students at his school. I see families who decided to honor and celebrate his life every year, even though they did not know him personally. I see a community that has held each other together for six decades. When I look back at all this, I can then turn my gaze forward. And I see hope, in all of you.
Thank you, Emilio.
Trinity’s Head of School shares his insights and perspectives in “Good Thoughts From Mr. Goetz.”