It soon will be time to say good-bye to our seniors here at Harrisburg Academy. The class of 2012 will head out on May 14th to take their places in their chosen internships. Some will try their hand as a gardener, pastry chef, equestrian, writer, music maker, designer, or photographer; while others will help and observe professionals in medicine, law, government, entertainment, education, advocacy, business or finance.

The opportunity to “try on” something new and different will be exciting, challenging and hopefully a lot of fun, too! The seniors deserve this; it is a part of their reward for working hard, for doing great things, and for becoming almost grown-ups. The time has come, but it is still hard to let them go. They will be back for a short time to report on their experiences and for the official ceremonies marking the completion of their primary education; but for all intents and purposes, they will have moved on.

Their pending departure stirs the emotions – sadness, excitement, pride, trepidation, joy, and relief; accompanied by an urge to separate, and a desire to hold on. We have to let them go, of course, that is our job after all, to prepare them for college and then open the door to the world and let them walk out. I know they are prepared, and certainly ready, but watching them leave will be difficult.

The reasons they are ready to go, are the same reasons I want them to stay. There are no two alike, they know who they are now, and they are proud of it. They have worked hard together, and as individuals, to maintain their high standards and to hone their skills and many talents. They accept differences, but not apathy. They are passionate, quiet, loud, stubborn, messy, and they care deeply about being their best. They are becoming better communicators and advocates, both for themselves and for one another.

Yes, they are ready. And yes – I will miss them.