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The Milton Measure

The Class of 2017: A Reflection By Todd Bland

by Alexander Chen on Friday, June 9th, 2017

Todd Bland shares his thoughts for departing and rising seniors (Alex Paul '18)

Q: How would you describe this year’s senior class?

A: The Class of 2017 is made up of so many accomplished, diverse, wonderful individuals who have contributed greatly to our school. Particularly striking to me is how well the members of this class have gotten along with one another. They clearly like each other, and they have stayed unified despite being a remarkably diverse group. In their time at Milton, they have identified what they have in common and celebrated what makes them unique.

Q: What are your favorite memories of the Class of 2017?

A: From the start of the Class of 2017’s freshman year, it seemed clear that they would be fond of each other. I think that sentiment has held strong. Coming off of prom this past weekend, I have to say that will definitely be one of my favorite memories of this graduating class. This has been a really challenging spring in some ways, and I was so glad to see that the members of this class were in such great spirits on Saturday evening—enjoying one another, having fun, and celebrating together at the end of a successful time at Milton.

Q: Do you have any words of wisdom for parting seniors?

A: I’ll be expanding on this during my comments at commencement, but I would offer these simple words of advice: love, listen, learn, apologize, forgive, never turn away, commit to the work that relationships require, and then love some more.

Q: What is your advice to the Class of 2018 to help them navigate their senior year and be the best possible leaders on campus?

A: I know this is challenging sometimes, but try not to worry too much about the future—particularly about the things that are out of your control. Enjoy the year as much as you can, and appreciate the special moments and opportunities it can bring. As a class, think about the legacy that you want to leave at Milton early in the year, and act in ways that help you leave that legacy behind.

Q: How does Milton prepare its students to be leaders at Milton and after Milton?

A: I will resist the very long answer to this question and simply say that Milton does a remarkable job of helping students find their own individual voices and then cultivate the tools necessary to use those voices effectively in the world.

Q: How has this year specifically differed from previous years?

A: For me—and for many, I think—this year has had some of the highest highs and lowest lows. This school year has felt more mercurial than other years in recent memory. We have enjoyed so many of the high moments together, and I believe we will learn important lessons from the lows. I feel that quite powerfully as we approach the end of this year.

Q: What are some things you are looking forward to about next year?

A: We will certainly miss the Class of 2017, but I am looking forward to a fresh start with the coming year, taking the lessons we have learned to implement healthy, positive change in the Upper School. At the core of this work will be more effectively supporting each member of this wonderfully diverse school community. I know that we—adults and students—are highly motivated to address some real areas of need, to make Milton an even more inclusive, supportive, equitable experience for all.


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Posted by Alexander Chen on Jun 9 2017. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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