NEWS: Thompson Reflects On School Year, Class Of 2016
By Emily Carroll – News Editor
As the school year comes to a close, principal Mr. Thompson took time to speak with Advocate news editor Emily Carroll about his his fifth year at Jonathan Law. Here is what he had to say about the past year and what is on the horizon for the Law community:
Emily Carroll: What are some of your best memories from this year?
Mr. Thompson: I think my favorite memory is yet to come. When I see the Class of 2016 receive their diplomas, knowing they are ready for the next chapter in their lives, I will be so excited for them and anxious to hear about their success.
EC: How do you think Law did academically, socially, and athletically this year?
MT: Academically, I think this was a very strong class. We had over a third of the school at the Honors Breakfast which says something about the direction we are heading. I made a reference in my speech at the breakfast to Dr. Barbiero who is the District Supervisor for Social Studies, a former Law teacher and assistant principal who is retiring, and he said to me that there used to be such a small breakfast. To have that cafe packed makes you realize that you can achieve and deserve to achieve. Socially, I think we are a very caring community. There are a lot of different jobs out there at different schools, but we all like to stay here because we are part of a real community. It’s a very exceptional place, one like I’ve never seen. And athletically, all the spring sports are going to the state tournaments which is really cool and is a great way to end our year. I think that the path ahead for our fall sports and winter sports look brighter so I think that’s pretty exciting.
EC: Some students were wondering what keeps you so positive?
MT: Coffee. No, all kidding aside, it’s gratitude. I am very grateful. It’s not really a job. It’s a vocation for me, not an occupation. That makes the bad days greater in their struggle and it makes the good days really awesome. I think I have been very blessed from my family to just learn how to be grateful. And coffee.
EC: What is your favorite part about the Jonathan Law community?
MT: My favorite part about the Law community is the fact that everybody cares about everyone else. We have good days and bad days, but at the end of the day there’s a lot of love and that’s what keeps me coming back every day.
EC: What are you going to miss most from the Class of 2016?
MT: I am going to miss the individuals. I am going to miss so many people in this class who brought so many different strengths to our school and who have so many special gifts. I know that sounds silly but I am really going to miss those individual moments where there’s a conversation with some of the seniors. Everybody has so many different areas of interests and it’s really great to be able to be more personalized.
EC: Are there any big plans for next year?
MT: We are actually starting on Friday (May 26th). We have an eighth grade picnic from all the kids from west shore. They will be here to celebrate an end of the year picnic and that’s 75% of our freshman so we will be able to meet them. We are going to be doing some different things with the freshman academy next year. We will have the kids go to their first few days of classes and do some work to help with their transition into high school. From all that I hear, it is a nice group of kids and we are excited about that.
EC: Looking back to when the Class of 2016 were freshman, what sort of changes and improvements have you seen?
MT: This will be part of my graduation speech. I have been really struggling with it because it’s very easy to say this was the forgotten class or this was the class that experienced a lot of loss and tragedy and we had to run to heal and help, but that’s just not true. This class has so many different individual strengths that I have seen leaders emerge from sophomore to junior to senior year. I’ve seen so many different skill sets. So, I have seen a class that has really grown into its own and no one should make any type of generalization because they would be nonsense.
EC: What advice do you have for the Class of 2016 and their journey to college?
MT: Aww, listen to my speech. I can’t give you all of the stuff. Don’t ever let anyone tell you ‘you can’t,’ because you’ve proven over the four years that you can. So, just don’t let anyone tell you ‘you can’t,’ because that’s just not true.
EC: What are your plans for this summer?
MT: I am going to the Dominican Republic in July. My happy place. I’ve been going every year for the past three years. I will also be doing a lot of yard work. Right now my yard looks like a parking lot. It’s in really bad shape, but that will be my summer project.
EC: Is there anything else you would like to say to the Jonathan Law community?
MT: Just, thank you. Thank you for letting me be part of your community. Thank you for each and every day. It’s really a great place to be. It’s Lawmazing!