The end of the school year brings an opportunity to reflect on what has been learned and mastered as well as on what might have been done better. It is a time to celebrate accomplishments and effort; some students graduate and others “move up.” Often a celebration takes the form of prizes. We celebrated our student-athletes earlier this week and recognized participation, wins and losses and individual achievements such as MVP or all-star team.
We offer team sports for all the benefits of collaboration, hard work, respect for others (especially the referees) and the reward of practicing and playing to one’s limits. The benefits to health are key; athletes are generally trim and fit, and they are seeing exercise as a life necessity. They have offered their time and effort to play on a team, and they wear their game uniforms proudly. They also play because it is fun; fun to score a run or a goal, fun to prevent a basket or even to spoil another team’s record, fun to have friends and family come to watch and fun to be with one’s friends running and leaping and sometimes winning.
We first celebrate teams and then individuals who may have broken records or made all-star teams; these individuals have excelled in competition and earned personal accolades. Doane Stuart teams almost ALWAYS win a sportsmanship award, and we have come to understand that this is the most important award.
We do not offer academic awards at year’s end because we want all our students to do their very best, knowing for some that ‘best’ may not be reflected in the grades. Grades are a type of reward in itself, and we do not need to reward a reward by pointing out the highest grade earners. It does not matter that one student wrote a better paper than another; what matters is that both students learned from the experience and did their level best. We know that each academic improvement is a personal victory; it does not matter who got to reading ‘chapter books’ first, or who did the best physics lab; what does matter is that everyone tries and everyone improves each time we tackle a new assignment or challenge.
So congratulations are deserved by every student here – for a successful academic year and for that special athletic win.
Visit Doane Stuart’s Athletic News page to learn all about the School’s exciting year in sports!