Every year, the senior class chooses a parent to speak at Baccalaureate. This year Kim DeLutis, parent of Maren Scott ’17, provided her perspective on being a parent of a graduating senior and the impact The White Mountain School has had on both Maren and their family. Check out Facebook and Instagram to view pictures from Baccalaureate and Commencement.
Thank you, Class of 2017, for kindly inviting me to speak to you today.
I’m petrified—I mean I’m honored to be here. I’m Kim De Lutis, proud mum to graduating senior Maren Scott, and I’m equally proud to congratulate all you rad grads of 2017!
Hey, I can say “rad” because I graduated in the ‘80s, and we invented that word.
I will definitely miss the routine of these past four years, getting a smile and a hug whenever I came to school, the Harvest dinners, watching the talented performances in the Black Box Theater, the Harvest dinners and I had fun cheering “GO BLUE!” at the girls’ games.
I’ve had the absolute pleasure of getting to know a few of Maren’s friends at our house over dinner and a good game of PIT. But I have to say the best part of having a day student at a boarding school, was that our family gained a second daughter. Edner spent many school breaks with us these past four years, which makes saying goodbye even more difficult for me. Perhaps less difficult for Edner, since she’s had to listen to me play the drums. You see, I just started learning to play less than a year ago, so you can imagine. It’s bad. In fact, Maren once told me, “Mom. If you want to be good at something, start early.” And so that’s your advice for today. It’s still not too late for any of you. Although I was happy to hear from Caroline’s speech just now that you don’t have to be good at something to like it.
We were on a college trip when we heard the news that the senior class had asked me to speak. I was shocked, and clearly no more deserving than any other parent, as my husband quickly pointed out. “You know they just chose you because you brought them a tent and blankets when it rained on their soccer game—and you made them cookies.” So for all of you that never got a cookie at the soccer games and still agreed to my being here, I made you all chocolate chip cookies today. I think that should become a tradition, don’t you? The parent speaker has to bake cookies for the graduating class. I like that.
I think I can speak for every parent when I say that our motivation is only to have our children’s happiness as our goal. And I believe the key to being happy, is to be grateful. Because you attract what you are and not what you want, a grateful heart is like a magnet that draws good things and good people your way.
Today, we can be grateful for your parents, who started you on this path for a happy life; your friends, who encouraged you in good times, and unknowingly helped you grow through the bad; and your teachers, for the knowledge you’ve gained and the incredible young adults you have become.
Teaching, as a profession, often slips under the radar of gratitude—having to educate many different personalities at once while navigating the highs and lows of the most difficult and often the most rebellious teenage years. The White Mountain School provided our kids with a superior high-school education, but also served as their mentors, friends and family.
Because teaching goes beyond the classroom, I asked a few students to share with me what they learned over the years that didn’t require a grade. Here is what they said:
They taught me kindness, and how to talk about uncomfortable topics.
They taught me to have a strong work ethic, and how to have a sense of humor without making fun of people.
They taught me to think by looking at the other person’s point of view, to put myself in someone else’s shoes before coming to conclusions.
They taught me how to make guacamole.
They taught me good sportsmanship, and how to breathe while hiking.
They taught me how to lift weights and challenge myself without harming my body.
They unknowingly influenced me to be more patient.
And last, but certainly not least, they made me want to leave an impact on the world.
They made me want to leave an impact on the world.
This is the legacy of The White Mountain School.
On behalf of the parents, I would like to profoundly thank the talented and dedicated faculty and staff, for presenting our kids with your best self every day so that they could reach their full potential.
Graduates, I thank you for having opened your hearts and minds to The White Mountain School. For braving that first orientation trip, camping under a tarp with a bunch of scary seniors—and even scarier mosquitos. And for trusting your parents when we knew this would be the best school for you.
Call on that open mind and bravery when you start your next adventure. Find the one thing that makes you happy. Wake up with a grateful heart, and every day you’ll get closer to where you want to be.
I’m grateful that your class is our future. And forever grateful for the impact that you will leave on this world.