Weekend Wisdom

Caitlin Wight Fitzsimmons ’95

8
“What will your legacy be?”
“September 5 was our first day of school, my daughter Jane’s and mine. She started first grade at her new school, Kent Place, and I released another child into the world. Although she is not my first born, Jane is my only daughter amongst a sea of boys. I couldn't hold back the tears as I looked in the rearview mirror and saw her eager face looking back at me. The newest member of the Class of 2029. The fourth generation and tenth member of my family, dating back to 1930, who will walk the Daisy Chain and graduate from Kent Place.
 
“We hadn’t planned on sending Jane to Kent Place so soon, but midway through Kindergarten, we noticed a change in her confidence. Jane’s sparkle got lost in the mix of a boy-dominated classroom and family. We reassessed our plans and before long I found myself crying on the drive to KPS, wondering, “Will she find her way? Will she be happy? Will she develop confidence? I know now it was the answers, not the questions, that made me cry.
 
“Jane found her desk among 11 other girls, all of whom are uniquely different and will spend the year discovering what makes each of them special individuals in this wonderful community. That afternoon, Jane's voice filled my car with excitement as she spoke of the friends she'd made and all the fun things her class will do. Yes, Jane will be happy. But what about the confidence? It will take time and understanding, but I truly believe there is no better place to foster Jane’s confidence than at Kent Place. We’re only just beginning our journey, but each day I see a bit of Jane’s sparkle reappear, and I know one day she will be a woman filled with knowledge and self-assurance.
 
“The experiences my family had at Kent Place were as expansive as the 89 years that separate them. As my mom insightfully said, ‘Kent Place, and women as a whole, used to be bound by old stereotypes and notions of what girls cannot do. Today those boundaries have been banished, and girls are learning they can do whatever they want. Now, like today’s girls, KPS is helping to write the rules, not obey them.’
 
“I recently read that Kent Place seventh graders discussed the concept of legacy. The girls were asked, ‘What aspects and attributes of your KPS life will become a part of your legacy? What will you be remembered for?’ I can't wait to hear Jane’s answer.”

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Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.