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convocationA formal, traditional expression of School life, Convocation marks the start of the academic year: new opportunities, new faculty, and new classmates. Messages from Head of School Todd Bland, Upper School Principal David Ball, and Milton’s co-head monitors, Avery Park (I) and Mack Makishima (I), were highlights of the ceremony. Mr. Bland welcomed everyone and encouraged each student and adult to take the time for quiet, mindful moments during the busy months ahead. Mr. Ball’s message, which began with a humorous childhood tale of summer camp and baseball hats, encouraged us to make connections with each other because, “Where there’s a name, there’s a story. Each of us is a bundle of narratives.”

Avery introduced the senior theme for the year and told her fellow students to “break something”–but not in a destructive way (“Not lamps or plates!”). “Make it count, go for it, and be good role models,” she urged. “Break out of your circle of friends, break out of your comfort zone–try a new activity, make new friends.” Mack followed up in a similar fashion: “Don’t hold back because of fear of failure or discomfort, you don’t want to regret or miss something.” He closed with an impressive speed round of inspirational quotes from Rocky Balboa to Picasso to Shia LaBeouf.

Mr. Bland awarded the George C. Lee Family Teaching Chair, which supports excellence in teaching and helps new faculty find a sense of belonging at the School. The 2014 Lee Chair recipient is Middle School English faculty member and girls’ volleyball coach Derek Palmore. Mr. Ball awarded the James S. Willis Jr. Memorial Award to co-head monitors Avery Park and Mack Makishima.

Click on the videos below to watch Convocation speakers address students, faculty and staff in the Fitzgibbons Convocation Center.

Todd Bland, Head of School

David Ball, Upper School Principal

Avery Park (I)

Mack Makishima (I)