January 24, 2017
The family is back together
We officially have a full house at ASYV! Yesterday, amid rainstorms and traffic countrywide as boarding students return to their schools, our Senior 4 and Senior 5 grades trickled in through the front gates. We celebrated their return with a Special Edition Village Time attended by JC, our Executive Director, and our special guest, Board Chair, Laurie Franz - who we are lucky to have here for the start of school.
During this unique Village Time, our Village Director, Vincent, got on stage to present our new family and educational structure. After years of discussions and consultations starting at the Board, this updated structure will help promote student productivity, maximizing their time to incorporate a full day of classes while allowing room for creativity and non-curriculum-based learning through Enrichment Programs and Life Skills. In addition, in the hopes of improving student’s performances and increasing attention to homework and study time, teachers will now be living at the school, instead of taking the time to commute to the Village each day. We are excited and optimistic for these changes.
The first day!
At what felt like the crack of dawn, the entire Village headed up to Liquidnet Family High School for a First Day Assembly. Here we enjoyed a prayer led by Senior 5 student, Bella, followed by short speeches from our past and current school president’s, Oscar and Prince. JC addressed the student body, reminding them of the changes at school and Aloys provided brief instructions for the days logistics and wished everyone a good first day.
The highlight of the morning’s events was Laurie’s excerpt reading of Seth Merrin’s new book “The Power of Positive Destruction: How to Turn a Business Idea into a Revolution”. Seth Merrin helped to found the Village alongside his wife, Anne Heyman, and is founder and CEO of Liquidnet, a global institutional trading network that has forever changed the assets management industry. Liquidnet Family High School was named for his company, due to Liquidnet’s generosity of resources to the school and to the ASYV. You can find out more about Seth and his work here.
Laurie focused on the afterword titled “You can Invent the Future”, dedicated to ASYV and his beloved wife. Besides all of the generosity Seth and his family have already shown to the Village, he will be donating 100% of the proceeds of his book to ASYV.
Laurie read, voice quivering, “The kids needed to see me and hear me tell them that I would make sure the village would always go on. When I arrived and spoke at the most beautiful memorial service I had ever experienced, I told them at as their father I wanted to hug each and every one living there…it was amazing, and I needed their hugs as much as they needed mine.”
Peaking into the filling classrooms, you can see the contrast between the Senior 6 students joking and laughing while sitting next to best friends, and Enrichment Year students quietly waiting for their teachers. With lots of positive energy, it is clear this year is going to be a good one – filled with dedicated teaching and hardworking students. Good luck to all those up on the hill at Liquidnet Family High School!
Submitted by Lauren Gross, Village Fellow 2017