A Parent’s Farewell to Our 2019 Graduates
Dear Honoured Guests, Bialik Staff, Family of our Graduates,
and, most importantly, the Graduating Class,
My name is Edit Rosenstein, otherwise known as ema to the Grade 8 class. Each year, a Bialik parent, with their final child graduating, is asked to speak. It is my honour to represent this group tonight.
Jonathan and I bought our first minivan in order to drive a carpool of children to Bialik when our oldest child, Daniel, was ready to start SK. That was in 2001, and yes, that means 18 years ago! And, while many of you cannot imagine paying tuition fees for that long — I mean, having four kids walk the halls of Bialik for so long — my personal journey at Bialik actually began long before that.
I am not a Bialik graduate, but I have been walking the halls since I was 17 when my father, Dr. Uri Korin, became what is now known as the Head of School. I am so thrilled that he, along with my mother Dolly Korin, are here tonight to watch their fourth and last grandchild graduate from Bialik. During my father’s almost two decades at Bialik, we saw the school transform.
There are too many accomplishments to list, so I will just say thank you for the legacy you have left our children and the thousands of others who have benefited from your role as educator, leader, mensch, and builder. You have built the foundation that has brought us here today.
And as I stand here, I am thinking about what I have learned over my 18 years as a Bialik parent of four kids. Well, some teachers have my number on speed dial! They had to deal with four different personalities and study habits, and I commend them for their efforts!
I have learned that, while I cannot make it to every field trip and Seder (and I truly thank all of you who have), I tried to make it to the things that mattered to my children at that time… from reading a book to the class, to going skating with the Senior Kindergarteners, to being a grade parent, to managing the calendar ads and then the DVDs for each play, and making it to almost every tournament of every sporting event Bialik has ever offered.
But, most importantly, the one year I had all four kids at the school, I had to run across the school to sign up for Parent Teacher Conferences outside each of their classrooms. When I learned about the Pick-A-Time program — the online scheduling system — I created a PowerPoint presentation and presented it to the school’s Admin Team. The school has been using it ever since. You are welcome!
As parents, we do our best and hope our kids will appreciate the effort, if not always the attendance.
I have also learned that Bialik is filled with dedicated teachers and administrative staff who work hard and try their best every day to make our kids think for themselves, grow a bit more, and give our kids a meaningful education that they will take with them and build upon, to truly reach their potential. And, for that, I am most thankful.
Bialik invites families to participate in their curriculum and to show students that we never stop learning — not as parents, not as teachers, and not as students. Because learning does not stop when we finish a certain grade and we can all gain from learning from each other.
As Rabbi Chanina said:
הרבה למדתי מרבותי, ומחבירי יותר מרבותי, ומתלמידי יותר מכולן
“I have learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, and the most from my students.”
When we have an environment that allows us to learn from each other, we foster the love of learning and team approach to education that Bialik provides and strengthens within each of us.
Jonathan and I watched our older three, Daniel, Anna, and Leah, sign the tree of honour and receive their diplomas. Tonight, we are thrilled to watch our fourth child, Rachel, receive her diploma and allow us to fulfill our commitment to ensuring that our children receive the finest education possible and the best of both worlds — an outstanding secular education and a leading Jewish education with a love for Israel.
To the graduating class, may you continue to go from strength to strength. May you take what you have learned at Bialik as the foundation for your future learnings. I wish you and your families Mazal Tov because while this is your moment to shine, we have all reached and are celebrating this milestone together.