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Farewell from Whitney Slade

Dear Riverbend Community,

This missive is really an ode to Riverbend. There are times in our lives when we are fortunate to intersect with special people or places – Riverbend is just such a place. 

I could wax poetic about our beautiful campus, which it is; I could brag and sing the praises of our fantastic faculty, which they deserve many times over; but the backbone of Riverbend is its children – and this is what I will miss the most.

The reason I went into education forty years ago (1983 when big hair was in vogue) was because most of my summer employment during my school years was as a camp counselor or athletic coach. It seemed logical to pursue a career where you could work with kids everyday. Now in 2023, after a lot of twists and turns in my journey, the one constant has been my love of children. For the past six years I have been awed by the work of our children. Everything about a Montessori education is designed with multiple intentions.  From toddlers learning to work on the mats which begin their understanding of their bodies in time and space, to countless conversations with upper school students that exhibit their insatiable curiosity; Riverbend’s children are exemplary. 

Many schools espouse the values that we do at Riverbend, but our children actually are able to translate those attributes into action. Our students think deeper, they question (I could say everything) with an eye for learning and growth, our kids work hard to be kind and empathetic, and they do sincerely embody the oft used phrase “life long learners.” They are impatient to achieve through the intrinsic value of work. They have inspired me as an educator, they have shown how our faculty teach, guide and observe their students’ works.  

It has been a privilege to be with these children. Riverbend allows our children to remain children and not grow up too fast-this speaks to my heart, because at my core I am a kid who loves to continue to learn.

I leave Riverbend with a fondness and appreciation that will stay with me in perpetuity.



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