To sailors, the phrase “homeport” captures diverse meanings: comfort, friends, safety, or simply the place where he rests his heart. To me SMASH is a “home port,” a workplace that elevates mere work to a labor of love alongside stellar partners, vibrant students, and hard working families. While in port at SMASH, I have found joy in lasting measure and a gratifying sense of worth in exploring the world alongside our beloved young adolescents. Warmed by this environment, my heart expanded from the almond sized shell of my earlier years into a cornucopia replete with marvelous kids, stimulating relationships, and the fruits of hard work. Like any sailor in a fine port, I have found great friends to spend time with, engaging projects to explore, and just enough minor trouble to keep things interesting. The years have thundered past as I grew ever more comfortable, increasingly more secure, and ever more tied to the people here in my “home port.”
Sailors also know the sublime pleasure of setting a new course, leaving the safe confines of port, and slipping free of land bound for the restive comfort of “wine dark seas.” It is in this happy situation that I now find myself; poised to depart my homeport (SMASH) and outward bound for new places, challenges, and adventures. As I take my leave of full time teaching this June, I am unsure of my next destination, but equally sure that I am returning home. In closing, I want to thank you for sharing your marvelous children with me. Without them in the world, I would feel incomplete.
Thanks again, Kurt.
With these words I took my leave of a much loved community, deeply appreciated job security, and the finest collection of teenagers in the United States.