A Farewell To Home

Monday, July 08, 2013 -

Welcome family members, teachers, friends and, of course, fellow Brentonians, to our last gathering before we disperse in countless directions for our summer holidays. It is my pleasure to welcome you to our home that we so dearly care for.

Home is a strong word, but it perfectly suits Brentwood. At Brentwood we are a family. Our family consists of our teachers, house parents, friends, coaches, laundry ladies, caf staff and even Mrs. Reynolds' pugs. Because of these amazing people who put in more effort than is ever expected into late duty nights, early morning breakfast cake meals, and long, smelly, laundry days, our school runs as smoothly as the still ocean on an early morning.

A year at Brentwood is like Grade 9s, rather short. It passes by rhythmically like the drum of oars striking the water during a two kilometer rowing race. But, like a two kilometer race, it can tend to start slowly. In September, the long year ahead seems to be filled with mountains of homework and busy Brentwood days waiting to be surmounted. A little extra energy may be required to get started; however, when the turkey dinners have passed and when Christmas is just around the corner, we see a light. From that point on we fall into a rhythm that remains unbroken and we trot along to the sunny days of June across the finish line.

I had to throw a rowing metaphor in there somewhere.

This year, we have been blessed to have Mr. Patel as our new Head of School. He has been a welcomed and wonderful addition to our Brentwood family and has certainly taught us a thing or two about rapping and Gangnam Style. I would just like to take a moment to let him know how much the students have appreciated his effort in getting to know both them and how the school runs. Although he has done a terrific job in grasping its essence, I have a feeling he will continue to find it hard to come to terms with our obsession with chocolate milk.

In a couple of hours we, the Graduating Class of 2013, will leave confident, joyful and prepared. We will be confident in where we are going, joyful for having had the opportunity to attend Brentwood and prepared to overcome, with grit, any obstacle before us. We will leave forever thankful to everyone that has supported us along the way. Thanks to the teachers who stayed after hours to teach us just because we were curious, not because they had to, to the house parents who played the role of our parents when our parents couldn't be by our side, and to our families who trusted us to live on our own so that we could learn, and experience something new.

Something I have learned over the past three years is that Brentwood is a place of giving. De manu in manum signifies the passing of the torch. In order to continue this beautiful cycle of giving we must remember those who supported us and, in the same manner, support others. In doing so, we will become leaders in our community.

Without my parents, brother, friends, and good friend Mike Best, I would not be here today. Thank you for all of your support. Thank you also to the Mackenzie girls and Mrs. Flynn and Mrs. Cheung who have been rocks on a sometimes stormy beach.

On behalf of the student body, thank you, Brentwood, for your generosity. We will make it our goal to spread it to future generations.

In honor of the Grade 9 Mackenzie girls, “Stay classy Brentwood.”

Andjela Stojkovic, Head Prefect, Mackenzie ‘13

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