Derby Academy welcomed new and returning students back to campus for the first day of school and the First Chapel Lecture on Wednesday, September 5.
Head of School Joe Perry greeted faculty, Trustees, students, and guests in Larson Hall for the annual tradition, welcoming students to a new academic year.
After acknowledging new faculty and staff members, Mr. Perry introduced this school year’s theme of compassion, inspired by a quote by Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“Everyone has a choice on how they make a comment, on what comment they make,” Mr. Perry said. “Be supportive, don’t be negative. Make the right choice...Don’t limit the circle – widen the circle.”
“If you want to be happy, practice compassion,” Mr. Perry said, giving several ways to practice kindness and consideration at Derby: helping a friend, using kind words, being appreciative and including others, helping keep the campus clean, learning about other cultures and perspectives, and being a role model to a younger student or peer.
“Go out of your way to make someone else feel good, every day,” Mr. Perry said. “I am challenging all of you, but most importantly, I am challenge the 8th grade,” recognizing the older students for their leadership role within the student body.
“Let’s look at what we do and how we do it,” he stressed. “Be positive, not negative. Support, laugh, be conscious of each other and others not at Derby; we are privileged to be here. This is a wonderful school, you have fantastic, supportive teachers, and you have friends all around you who care about you.”
To all our students, faculty, and families – welcome back! We look forward to another wonderful year at Derby!