When I graduated JDS in 2001, I could not have imagined that nine years later I would marry a JDS teacher, and five years after that, become a JDS parent. As an alum, I feel such a connection to and love for this school. It is so nice that my wife, as a former teacher, shares these feelings with me, and now we can share them with our 5-year-old son, Levi.
When I think back to my time at JDS, what sticks out the most is how the entire community--from teachers, to administrators, to coaches, even friends' parents--cared about the development and growth of each and every student. Academic success was of course hugely important, but student happiness and the treatment of us as individuals were the highest priorities.
I think back to when Mrs. Banaszak (our history teacher), knitted socks for us to celebrate college acceptances. I remember the 9th grade lock-in, where we slept over at the school, bonding with friends and faculty outside of a classroom setting. I remember feeling so comfortable walking into Mrs. Landy's office for guidance or just to chat. JDS was a safe, fun, supportive environment for me, and I feel so appreciative to have had these critical middle and high school years in such a place.
As I have come to learn through my wife (who taught in the Lower School), and now through the first two months as a parent, the school just has not changed. This is the reason we never even had a conversation about where our son would go to school--it was a given! We knew exactly the warm and loving community Levi would walk into, because we both experienced it. We are excited to watch him evolve as a student and person in the the halls of a school we love, under the care of the people who make it so special.