An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Felicia Wilks, assistant head of school/upper school director

Assistant Head of School/Upper School Director Felicia Wilks shared the following with Upper School students, faculty, and staff, at the final Upper School assembly on June 5.

I have been thinking a lot about you all in the last weeks, when there is so much going on in the world.

Like Mr. Noe, I encourage you all to take care of yourselves and each other. Spend time reflecting about what it means for you personally to be a part of building racial equality in our communities and in our country. The work each of us has to do is based on who we are and where we are in our journey of understanding race and how it impacts our lives and the lives of those around us. Maybe your work needs to be focused on mourning, healing, and self-care; maybe your work is to spend time learning more about the history of race and racism in the United States and how it shapes all of our lives today; maybe you are ready to take action in your community. Wherever you are right now is totally okay as long as you are always moving forward in your attempts to improve the world around you. I have already seen some of you step into action and it has been inspiring. Honestly, it gives me hope that maybe someday racism can be dismantled.

To the senior class: The last day of senior year is one that many seniors experience with a mix of excitement and sadness. Excitement about your next step on your journey, and sadness because you won’t be taking that step with all the people you have grown close to over the last four years. I know this year is especially difficult, not only because of everything happening in the world, but also because you can’t be together. Please take Elda’s advice and reach out to each other virtually. Continue to strengthen the incredible bonds that you built among the members of this class.

We already miss you, seniors, and we will miss you even more next fall when you begin to forge new communities outside of Lakeside. I will have time to tell you more about how great you are at commencement, but today, on behalf of the entire Lakeside community, I want to say thank you for all you contributed and I also want to say that we love you. Congratulations for making it to this day.

I’d like to thank the members of Student Government again, for their leadership all year, but especially during remote learning. Aidan, your leadership as president this year has been superb, remarkable, flat-out amazing. Thank you! And thank you, too, to Eugenie, Elda and Maxine, the other seniors in Stud Gov, for your creative and positive leadership! Bravo!

To all students - everyone in grades 9-12 - I am really proud of all you accomplished this year and I hope you are, too. It was rocky for sure, and things did not go as any of us planned. But you adapted and stayed committed to this community and to your learning. Take some time to reflect on your accomplishments - in class, in athletics, in the arts, in your relationships. You came far this year and you learned and grew a lot. Don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate that. 

Finally, I would like to thank the Upper School faculty and staff. Thank you for all you did this year to support, encourage and educate our students - whether we were face-to-face or remote. You were an anchor for so many during these challenging times. Thank you for being so awesome and committed to your students.

Have a great summer, everyone!