The Cushing community welcomed the start of the 2018-2019 academic year with Convocation and the installation of Dr. Randy Bertin as 13th Head of School on Sunday, September 2 in Cowell Chapel.
Bill Troy delivered the welcome remarks, in which he encouraged the student body to pursue excellence in their work and their treatment of others, to remain thankful and enthusiastic, and to “be proud to be a Penguin.”
In their reflections, Student Body Co-Presidents Holden Fry ’19 and Jill Stone ’19 advised their peers to take full advantage of their time at Cushing. Encouraging new students to discover what they can achieve, Holden noted, "Cushing Academy is a wonderful environment to try new things, so take advantage of all the opportunities that will come your way." "We should not settle this year,” said Jill. “At no point should we stop trying to grow.” Both speakers highlighted the ability and the privilege that students have to shape not only their own lives but the lives of those around them.
Board of Trustees Chair Colette de Labry then formally installed Dr. Bertin as 13th Head of School—Presenting him with the school’s ceremonial medallion, she offered the following charge: “Dr. Bertin, one hundred and fifty-three years after our founding, the Board has unanimously chosen you to continue our founder’s vision and to uphold the mission of the Academy today. The Board of Trustees entrusts Cushing to your leadership. We look forward to working with you, and we wish you every success as you commit yourself to ensuring that Cushing lives out its mission daily: to exist for students and to develop curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders.”
Before his opening address, Dr. Bertin welcomed seven new members of our faculty and staff: Visual Arts Teacher Linsey Laserte, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Dan Morrissey, Biology Teacher Christine Pawlikowski ’06, Latin Teaching Fellow Kelly Platt, Mathematics Teaching Fellow Sarah Swenson, Spanish Teacher Karin Valencia-Bedard, and Director of Athletics Jennifer Viana.
Dr. Bertin thanked the community for its warm welcome to his family. Noting the numerous enhancements and additions to the campus that are visible all around, he reminded students that their own “growth in progress” is the school’s greatest strength. Referring to our mission statement, Dr. Bertin encouraged students, saying “If you commit to a strong effort in your pursuits at Cushing, I believe you will feel that indeed, Cushing exists for you” and urged them to take advantage of all that is in place for them to succeed.
“Let’s be kind, work hard, and have a great school year together as we celebrate the common purpose of our remarkable community," Dr. Bertin concluded. After singing the Alma Mater, the faculty then led the way to Quimby Field where the all-school handshake took place. The first formal dinner of the year followed in the newly renovated Fisher-Watkins Dining Commons, concluding the day’s events.