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Wednesday, Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Dear Parents of Mounties~

It is hard to believe that it is already June 1st, that our seniors are done with their exams and that graduation is Friday! This year has flown by. Inevitably, this time of year brings about a great deal of change for everyone in the MSJ community. All the students continue on to another grade, there are new students who will be coming into the school community, our seniors move on to being alumni, staff members move on to new journeys and, sometimes, faculty members retire. All of these things will be happening at MSJ in the next two weeks. Change is rapidly approaching us.

This year change is especially evident here at MSJ. Every year it is difficult to see the seniors leave. After four years with us we have established relationships with each class and we, as a community, get to know each and every student and appreciate each personality. It is no different this year. However, at the same time, commencement is one of our favorite days of the year. We take great pride as a community in the preparation of our students for their future. The graduating class of 2016 is no different. They are all headed off on a new and exciting journey. They have worked hard in the classroom, on the playing fields, in the theater, and in countless other areas of their lives. They are sure to go forth and change the world. But, we will miss them here on Convent Ave.

Change is also evident in our staff. Mr. Merchand, after 17 years of dedicated service to MSJ has decided to retire. His students have been blessed throughout his career to have known him as he an incredibly gifted teacher of mathematics. He has pushed his students to reach for the stars in terms of mathematical thinking. He has also been a constant at Mountie sports events. In fact, I would call him a superfan! He will be greatly missed! Mr. McDonough, after 46 years of unwavering service to MSJ, has also announced his retirement. Mr. McDonough has been a constant at MSJ for, when one counts his time spent here as a student, 50 total years. He has served as a teacher, coach, athletic director and dean of students. His presence is evident everywhere as he has spent more time on Convent Ave then any one else in the school’s history. He can always been counted on to assist students, coaches, staff members and administration, he simply does not know the word “no”. He can be seen in the classrooms, on the fields, in the gymnasium (now named in his honor), in the hallways, chapel and everywhere else. His support and love for MSJ and the MSJ student body is evident in all that he does. He has been a wonderful teacher, coach and administrator. To say the least, we will grately miss him.

Change is in the air. Sometimes it is difficult to handle. We have all been there at some point in our lives. A great quotation to sum up change with good perspective is “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” Sometimes it’s hard to see the positives of change. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss seeing Mr. Merchand at chapel. I would again be lying if I said that I’m not weepy about the fact that my right hand man and one of my best friends, Mr. McDonough is retiring. As a teacher and principal I will miss each and every one of our seniors--the conversations we have had, the countless times they stop by to say “hi” and all the wonderful times in the many different classes that I have taught them. As a coach, my soccer team certainly won’t be the same without the graduates. Yet, inevitably, as time marches on and August approaches the feelings of change turn from hard to messy as we, as a community, get to know the new classes, the new students, the new teams, the new community on Convent Ave. As more time passes and the years fly by those feelings of change turn from messy to gorgeous as previous students report back about the wonderful lives they are living and all the successful moments they are having. Change is upon us. Change is hard. Change is also good.