Ted Talks May/June 2022: Rejoice All Ye Who Pass Through These Gates

Ted Graf, Head of School
One of the great joys of my job is that I get to participate in the end-of-year ceremonies on each of the campuses, which means that I often get to have conversations with parents, grandparents, and friends of the students.
I see, hear, and feel the patterns, the overlaps, and the changes of the children. 

After spending much of the past two years apart in different ways, this year brought that all into sharp focus. Whether it was Gates of Life ceremonies at Springs, Car Parades on Creek, 5th Grade Gates of Life ceremonies, 8th Grade Graduation, or High School Commencement, we celebrated each special event with the Gates of Life; a ritual from when we were still Primavera Montessori. So whether it was your first, last, or one of many end-of-year celebrations with us, we thank each and every one of you for rejoicing with us.

“An ending is but another beginning. Rejoice all ye who pass through these gates.”

See some remarks from some students and staff speeches, as well as more photos from celebrations below.

It has been a year of shared experiences and re-connection:
Flex Days, the Halloween Costume Contest, 
Pitsos, student-led conferences, the Forward, 
Project week, trips to Whole Foods, a trip to the Alamo, 
Protests, performances, presentations, and now graduation.

Whether you joined Headwaters as a 2-year old or a 14-year old, or somewhere in between, your shared experiences are what makes Headwaters a community. 

Whether you are staying with us, or moving on for high school, your voices and your actions are what makes Headwaters a community.
    Terra Lynch, Middle School Director

  • Be kind to your family: while you may not always see eye to eye, they just want you to be safe and successful 
  • Be kind to your friends: these are the people you have chosen as your support structure. Be there for them and, hopefully, they will be there for you
  • Be kind to strangers: Every one of us is carrying baggage as we move through this life. Kindness is often met with kindness. Strive to bring compassion to each day to day interaction you have…and in turn bring more kindness to the world.
  • Be kind to yourself: In the years to come, you will have expectations for yourself. When you fall short of your expectations (and you will), give yourself grace. You are not perfect and neither is anyone else. Learn from your experiences. Try to focus more on the process than the results. Adjust your approach but keep your expectations high.
    Paul Lambert, Middle School Guide of the Year

The class of 2022 has been challenged and stretched in ways that no one could have imagined when they began high school–online and hybrid learning; foreshortened IB courses as juniors; the departure of many talented and beloved guides. And they have shown remarkable grace and generosity with the faculty who joined us this year and they have shown tremendous flexibility in the face of so much uncertainty.
      Ted Graf, Head of School

Before we begin today’s celebration, it is important to note that as we excitedly anticipate what the young people seated before you will put into the wider world, that the world desperately needs more Peacemakers, Advocates, Creators and Thinkers– most especially Peacemakers. The past few weeks of international conflict and, more close to home, the heartbreaking and tragic events that unfolded in Uvalde this past Tuesday call for our attention. As we begin this joyous event, join me in a moment of silence. And let us acknowledge the vitality and potential that has been taken from this world through violence and offer our compassion to the families in Uvalde. Thank you.
    Ave Luke-Simpson, Ph.D, High School Director

As Leonard Cohen said: “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Even though our teachers were also dealing with unprecedented challenges themselves, their unceasing commitment to our success, openness, honesty, and playfulness made it feel like we were navigating all of these uncharted waters as a cohesive team. Our collective struggles clearly brought us all closer together, making it feel like we had known each other for many years.
    Eric Younger, Class of 2022

High school graduation is about honoring a major pivotal point in your life, oftentimes one that brings you into “adulthood” or at least gives you a taste of it. Graduating can mean taking on more responsibilities, even ones that you might not be ready for. Many students in this year's graduating class will be moving onto college campuses next year where we will be faced with challenges we couldn’t even fathom in High School. Despite adulthood being defined as fully grown, this graduating class will never stop growing  for the better to meet and overcome future challenges. However, before speculating about what we could go on to accomplish in the future, it is important to recognize all of the growth that we have had over the past four years here at Headwaters, as it is this growth that will be guiding us moving forward.
    Paulina Espinosa de los Monteros, Class of 2022

Primary Gates of Life

YCC Gates of Life

5th Grade Graduation

Creek Gates of Life Car Parade


Spring Campus

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Creek Campus

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River Campus

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