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Time is the Commodity

Time is the Commodity
JohnEric Advento

It is an honor writing to you in my final blog as Head of the Lower School at Wardlaw+Hartridge. These last three years have flown by, and at times I think it was just yesterday that we were coming out of a global pandemic, reimagining school and implementing strategies to be both present and safe. I have enjoyed my time here at Wardlaw+Hartridge. 

Have you heard the parenting statistics that say 75% of all the time you will ever spend with a child is complete by the time they reach 12 years old? Further to this end, by the time your child turns 18 years old, they say that 90% of your parent-child time together is already spent. In other words, 90% of all the time you will ever get with your son and/or daughter will be before he or she is 18 years old. 

This reality has truly hit my wife and me as we navigate our own family dynamic with our son (19 years old) just finishing his first year in college and our daughter (17 years old) approaching her senior year of high school. As parents, Christina and I have quickly realized that time spent with our children is a very precious and finite resource. We are slowly coming to terms with the empty nest phase. At the moment, we do our best to be fully present, soaking in the time that we spend with our children. Life is short. Time is the true commodity!

As I close out my tenure at Wardlaw+Hartridge, I want to reiterate my gratitude to the parents in our school community who have truly supported a partnership. As I have mentioned many times, parents are their children’s first teachers, and we are extremely grateful for those parents who have kept the two-way street of communication open through life’s ups and downs. I am also grateful to the educators with whom I have had a chance to work with and learn alongside. Schools are only as good as the teachers that they put in front of students, parents and each other.  

It is with this in mind that I share with you my next endeavor. In my educational career, I have strongly believed that far too often, when you look at the composition of independent schools, both domestically and abroad, there is a stark difference or contrast between the faculty and student body. Many students are hard-pressed to find educators who look like them. Experiencing this firsthand throughout my 30-year career, including 22 years overseas, I find it a moral imperative to seek further representation of students in their teachers and administrators in independent schools.

It is my honor to join a premier search firm – Stratagenius – dedicated to supporting this important “representative” mission for students all over the world! The firm has more than two decades of service working for independent schools, seeking excellence in candidates for teaching and leadership positions. They partner with domestic and international schools committed to equity, connect them to their diverse network, and match them with exceptional talent. Starting July 1, I will begin this work as their East Coast and International Placement Consultant. And, like some of you, I will have an opportunity to do this work remotely. 

So, in short, I look forward to seeing you around New York and New Jersey. It has been an honor serving as the Head of the Lower School at Wardlaw+Hartridge. Thank you, parents, for being wonderful partners in education!

I will miss many things about my time at W+H, but what I will miss the most is the time spent with our students in the classroom, AP Room, library, gymnasium, playground and garden. Our students have a natural curiosity and joy that has always inspired me. I firmly believe that those who truly love this calling in education love being around kids and the “work” keeps us all young. A final THANK YOU to all the students that I have had the honor of serving and l look forward to hearing about all your wonderful successes!