My School Is Closing
In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
The life in my years is what I was thinking about as I walked forward last June for my fifth grade graduation from Eagle Cove School in Pasadena. Lots of life was packed into my seven years there — from meeting influential people, such as Jane Goodall and Dr. Ben Carson, to fun and educational field trips and a great environmental education.
We raised and released terrapins in Chesapeake Bay and went canoeing and seining in science class. We learned to respect our environment by recycling, composting, saving electricity, and growing vegetables and herbs in our geodesic-dome greenhouse. We learned to take care of others by making Easter baskets for needy kids and making sandwiches for the homeless.
Add in beautiful landscape and creative and caring teachers, and you start to understand why I love my school.
Eagle Cove School (earlier Gibson Island Country School) has been a place full of special memories for my family and me. I have spent seven out of my 12 years of life learning and growing at the school. My grandfather, famous outdoors writer Bill Burton, was so inspired by my school’s environmental awareness and programs that he donated much of his personal library there. My mother and grandmother came to school to give my second grade class rods and teach us all how to fish, as my grandfather had taught them and me. The nature trail along the water is the Burton Boughey Trail.
Last week, we learned that our 58-year-old school will close at the end of this term. “After the recession in 2008, enrollment dropped at independent private schools across the country, and unfortunately, we were a victim,” said Headmistress Laura Kang.
It is sad how great things have to come to an end. I learned that when my grandfather died, so I know how much will be lost to Eagle Cove School’s closing. It will be such a loss for the teachers who have spent many years at the school, their home away from home. It will be hard for the fourth graders, who would have graduated in 2015, to miss their special ceremony. Pre-kindergartners who got a small taste of all the school offers will miss out on much more. Generations of kids won’t get any of the great experiences Eagle Cove Schoolers have had for over half a century.
At Eagle Cove School, we have been given the desire to always learn more and do better.
The hundreds of students who learned that lesson through the years will continue to change the world. As did a current third-grader who convinced his summer camp to start its first recycling program. Now imagine all 76 current students, 20 staff members and so many graduates all going out into the world and spreading the lessons like these.
That’s the silver lining in this cloud.