"What's in a name?" Shakespeare wrote. "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
(Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, scene 2)
e spent a lot of time last summer trying to decide what we were going to call our newly merged school. Some wanted to designate it an exact continuation of one or the other of the founding institutions. Others preferred to name it something completely new, even exotic. Knowing that college and life’s adventures awaited our graduates and that having a piece of history to ground them would be beneficial, we settled on a name that more accurately reflected our hopes and expectations for each of those students, that they would remember who and whose they are. In none of this naming did we mean to imply that what we were called before or what we did as two schools was not of profound importance – if students can’t read, write and compute when they leave us, not much else will matter. Still, they were finishing one leg in one place under one name in their educational journey while simultaneously beginning another. Call it what you may, the name turned out sweet.
The Burlington School is a place where great care is taken to name things and know names, where ceremonies, routines and rituals matter and are attended to for best effect, where moments and memories are marked appropriately and great care is taken in the little, daily, ordinary things that comprise so much of life and in which the extraordinary can be found.
At this school, we are very aware of and take delight in the passages that frame our students’ lives. In addition to joining our students in naming and celebrating many of their first stages, we become mentors and guides to help them reach the next milestone, whatever that might be. For some that may mean working on phonemic awareness or the difference between a participle and a gerund, for others it may mean wrestling with multiplication tables or linear equations, for still others it may involve becoming more confident in themselves and the talents and gifts with which they have been born, and are just beginning to break forth. For all of our students it means cultivating right and reasoned thinking based on strong academics, learning to take responsibility for their own actions and to work for the common good, developing a sense of community, a reverence for life, a respect for root values and an appreciation for beauty, and realizing the privileges and obligations of being citizens of our community.
We are honored that you are considering The Burlington School as your partner in the education of your child, as a companion with which to travel, discover, and name these early years. To entrust anyone with the care and nurture of your child is a major decision, not to be made lightly or unadvisedly.
If you think your child might benefit from being a part of TBS, we encourage you to get to know us by visiting our campuses. As always, if we can answer any questions or be of further assistance as you make this important decision on behalf of your child, please do not hesitate to be in touch.
Finally, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, parents and students, faculty and staff, welcome to The Burlington School.
The Rev. Dr. Louis “Smokey” Oats