As of noon Monday, the Tisbury School and public schools across the Vineyard were officially out for summer. The end of school was marked by students running out the doors to say one final goodbye to teachers, while parents greeted them for the last pickup of the year. This has been a big year for the Tisbury School, as they have bounced back after two hard years of COVID-19 and the anticipation of a school renovation project.
There was bittersweet energy as kids smiled, cried, and hugged their friends and teachers goodbye for the summer and, for some, for good. These emotions solidify why parents and teachers, especially Principal John Custer, describe this as “a really close school.”
This day is not only sad for some students, as teachers will begin transitioning into a quiet summer without the kids. One fourth-grade teacher who has been at Tisbury School for 22 years, Meredith Goldthwait, even called it, “the saddest day of the year … It’s the realization of how far they have come as human beings, not just academically but socially and emotionally.”
Principal Custer also spoke to this same sweet sadness at the end of each school year, saying he is happy for all the kids and parents as they get to spend more time together for the summer. “Selfishly, it’s tough, because I love the energy of kids and staff at the school,” Custer added.
Reflecting on the year for this school and what made it so fulfilling, Principal Custer shared that after a few years of not being able to be as physically present with the kids, “The fact alone of having kids around the whole year is what made this a really fulfilling year for me.”
Goldthwait also told The Times about the impacts of this time, speaking to the worry of parents that their kids have been missing out on learning and social experience. But within these worries, she said, “These students have not suffered in any shape or form because of the great community we have built here.”
It is safe to say that most Tisbury School teachers would agree with Shannon Carbon, a K-1 teacher for nine years at the school, when she says, “I’m already looking forward to the beginning of a new school year next year, and with this time for a little reflection.”