PV Schools

Dear Putnam Valley Community:

As we look forward to our Thanksgiving holiday, I want to convey special appreciation to our high school musicians for conducting their third annual Gratitude Festival at the Tompkins Corners Cultural Center, tonight at 7:00 pm.  This event has become a highlight of the year for many, as the students are performing from the heart, choosing their own work and often creating compositions for the occasion.  For anyone who teaches or who works in any capacity for a school, the magnet and purpose of our calling exist in the students we serve and their natural exuberance and engagement in learning and expression.

The Gratitude Festival allows the community to experience the wonderful inner life that our youth shares with us during these student directed events. They are rare occasions granting us a window to delight in student energy and creativity, hear their voices and share their camaraderie. The supportive environment and collaboration reflected in the student productions inspire hope for the future, and a sense of optimism. I urge us all to pause for a moment and listen to our students, their songs, their voices, and their music as they seek to connect with each other and with the adults around them, elders who are so eager to hear good news, positive and happy choruses, and count their blessings.

It is instructive to recall that it was President Abraham Lincoln who conceived of a Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday even in the throes of the suffering in 1863 during the Civil War. He wanted the nation to focus on our exceptional gifts, our democracy, our rule of law, our resources, our humanity, all that we are grateful and willing to fight for. The Gratitude Festival provides a lens for joyfulness and contentment in the riches we share in our remarkable students and community.  Thank you to the teachers who make this program possible!

Happy Thanksgiving Wishes to All!

With gratitude,

Dr. Frances Wills
Superintendent of Schools