The following speech was given by Head Boy Cooper Midroni at Crescent School's Opening Assembly on September 10, 2015.
Mr. Fellin, members of the platform party, faculty, staff, and fellow students, I cannot be more excited to welcome you all to the 2015/2016 school year. In my three years at Crescent, now entering my fourth, I have seen three generations of Crescent leaders come and go. To now be wearing the blue blazer is not only a surreal experience, but it is an honour. My only hope is that I can share with you the excitement that myself and the grad class have about this upcoming year. It will be a year filled with energy and opportunity, and personally, I cannot wait to begin.
Three years ago this may not have been the case. And by “may” I mean… it absolutely was not. I was nervous, scared, because I was entering a new school where I knew very little people. My first day was a flurry of places, directions, with hundreds of new names thrown my way, of which I remembered barely any. You can see how that would be a problem. This was a school with a grade size that tripled the grade I had just left. The size of this community, to me, was daunting. And yet when I came here, from the moment I walked through the door, I still felt that sense of community. It was that feeling of belonging that I believe Crescent imparts in every boy that left no doubt in my mind, Crescent was the school for me.
And I see this feeling manifest itself, every day here, in so many ways. I see it in the way boys of all ages dive into the opportunities hosted by this school, by joining clubs and teams and councils. I see it in the brotherly way the older boys walk down the Lower School hallway. And I see it in the spirit of the Houses, how a single house point is worth its theoretical weight in gold. Often I think of how being a part of this community influences me, and I realize how Crescent not only motivates me, but attracts me.
For those of us who may not have worked the custodial graveyard shift, you can often find me in the Latifi Commons at 6:30-7:00 am. To my peers, this is insane. That I would leave the comfort of my bed, the natural habitat of the teenager, to be at school? When they ask me why, I only have one response: That I enjoy being at school, that I come early to soak in all that makes this place so special. It is the people that make this great school what it is. The laughter in the hallways, the personalities behind names on the wall. And I come early to feel a part of that.
For the grads, this year is also veiled in a certain sadness. Sadness that you can put the words “the last” in front of most things we do during this year. Coming from this place of hindsight and general worldly knowledge, there are a few messages I would like to impart to you all today.
Make the most of our time at Crescent
To the Lower School and Middle School I have one message, which I will share with you in the form of a quote from a classic song I came to appreciate at camp this year, The Circle Game.
“We’re captive on the carousel of time. We can’t return we can only look behind from where we came. And go round and round and round in the circle game.”
I ask of all the students in this room, that you make the most of your time here at Crescent. To the Lower and Middle School, I ask that you keep this notion in your heart as you journey through the ranks of school. Because it’s true. There is no going back, there is only reflecting on the times you’ve had and the times yet to come. I know you all will bring your energy and enthusiasm with you, changing Crescent for the better in your own time.
To the Upper School, I want for all of you to recognize that now is your time. You all have it within you to make these final years count, leave an impact, have no regrets. Now is one of the best times in your lives to take chances. As Mr. Kovacs mentioned in his address to the Upper School, what I believe to be an incredibly powerful quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “there is no effort without error.” Take those risks and put in the work. The safe and comfortable environment of high school is your friend, and even if you fall, you have the Crescent community here to catch you.
To the faculty and staff, understand that your impact on our lives goes much deeper than education. You are our role models, whose dedication to not only teaching us the curriculum, but life lessons, makes our time here truly rich. You will hear this many a time down the road, but thank you for all your efforts so far and all those to come.
To those new to the Crescent community, students and staff alike, I have no doubt that you soon will feel the sense of community and belonging that I alluded to before. It is merely a matter of time.
And finally, a message to the grads. My boys. As we round this final year to a point, I ask that you make every moment count. Like I said before, there will be many “lasts,” but I hope they will be accompanied by many “bests.” I cannot think of a better group of people to spend this final year with, nor more promising boys to become Men of Character by my side.
Be humble, be hungry
As a grad class, we have adopted the motto “Be humble, be hungry.” We want to challenge every member of the Crescent community to display their humility and their drive. This year should be a year of appreciation, for all that this school provides. We hope you will come to understand the position of privilege you are in. This should also be a year of ambition, where we adopt the willpower to endlessly pursue our goals. Through humility and hunger, we not only have the ability to succeed but to display the highest degree of character for which Crescent is known for.
As I said in the beginning, I could not be more excited to see and take part in the products of this school year. From all corners of Crescent life, athletics, the arts, robotics, and community service, I cannot wait to see your hunger for excellence and the humility with which you approach it. Please join me in making the most of this year, by putting our best selves out there, exemplifying both humility and hunger.
Thank you all for listening and have a stellar school year.