Some Final Thoughts and Thanks

  • David Hoffman

    Dear Island Park Families,


    Over the course of this and recent years, I have had the great privilege to share some stories and thoughts with you in my Principal’s Corner space.  It has been fun, and perhaps even therapeutic, revisiting my past in order to prove a point, illustrate a belief or entertain an idea.  I really enjoy introducing you to my early friends, favorite teachers, endearing neighbors and childhood adventures. I hope in some small way, I help you relive your own favorite school moments, rethink a perplexing childhood memory, reconsider/reconfirm a parenting strategy, or simply provide a little levity to get you through the day.


    You may have surmised through my writing that I loved school as a child (still do). It wasn’t because I had the most talented teachers, stayed out of trouble, went to exceptional schools, or had superheroes as friends. It was simply that my parents, my first and best teachers, wouldn’t have it any other way. They let me know through words, actions and unconditional love, that, while at school, I was capable of and responsible for attaining knowledge, personal success, healthy interactions, problem solving skills and slew of meaningful experiences that would make me a happy and productive citizen.


    I hope that either directly or indirectly I too have helped guide and support your child’s own journey toward independence and personal fulfillment this school year. Through my work as an instructional leader, teacher, pseudo child psychologist, business manager, playground referee, press officer, lunch line host, Dr. Phil impersonator, and a myriad of other roles, I have tried my best to lead a joyful community of responsible and inclusive high-level learners. 


    I owe a huge debt of gratitude to others who helped along the way this year.


    First, thank you to the entire Island Park staff for your hard work, professionalism and incredible dedication to nurturing children, academically and socially.  The endless hours and energy each of you expends in creating a learning environment that is student-centered, safe, intellectually challenging, healthy, and—yes—fun, is greatly appreciated. Your talents, support, and kindness mean a lot to me.  To those moving on to Northwood or next chapters next year, I will miss you and only wish you the best.


    Next, thanks to all the parents, families and community members who continuously stepped up to the plate, lent a helping hand, volunteered, worked with kids, created, chaperoned, catered and, above all—cared. Your support has been overwhelming and is truly heartfelt. Most importantly, thank you for sending your child to school with a positive attitude about learning, a healthy respect for those with whom they interact, and a desire to accept, embrace and celebrate the uniqueness of other children. We also have the most amazing PTA in the world!  Thank you for your support and commitment.


    Finally, to all the Island Park students, thank you for your quality work, smiles, curiosity, optimism, advocacy and uniquely wonderful personalities.  You are the reason I get up and go to work each day. You provide me with an infinite amount of joy, pride, and faith in the future. You keep me young at heart and confident in the knowledge that children have a lot to offer the world. 


    To our Island Park students and their families who are heading to new school environs next fall, I know that I speak on behalf of the entire Island Park learning community in saying that we will miss you tremendously.  Best wishes for continued success in all your endeavors.  Remember:  Once an Island Park Eagle, always an Island Park Eagle.  Please come back and visit.


    Here’s wishing everyone a safe and sublime summer.  May it be filled with laughter, love and learning. Remember, each day is a story to be told, shared, and lived to its fullest.


    Happy trails and happy tales…