Friday, August 08, 2008

A Message from John and Colleen

When we think about our work with Mission Mountain School over the last 19 years, we are most proud of our students and their accomplishments as they move forward in their lives. Colleen and I are incredibly grateful to all the wonderful students, families, staff members, colleagues and professionals we met and came to love in the last 19 years. Your efforts made MMS a tremendous success. It has been an amazing experience that deeply touched our lives and hearts. Our students are the reason we believe and trust that there is an essential spirit that guides each person’s life. We feel privileged that we shared some part of their journey. Prior to the birth of our children, our students and MMS were the most important and significant component in our lives. MMS was our family and life work.

For most of the history of Mission Mountain School we placed the needs our students and the school before the needs of our family. The courage and commitment of our students inspired us to work 70+ hour weeks without tiring. Lately, we find ourselves at times exhausted or overwhelmed by the difficult demands of working at MMS and raising our young children. Recent deaths in our families, challenges us to take stock. We recognize that we have reached a turning point. The needs of our children, our increasing age, and the needs of family elders requires us to, in the language of MMS, "face the dragon;" we can not do it all.

This time we must consider what is the best course of action for our children and family. We initially felt apprehension, great sorrow and loss in facing this dragon. But our closest advisors suggested that we take a sabbatical from our life work at MMS to rest, and tend to our family. We found joy and excitement in our realization that we deserve time to search our souls and need to listen to the spirit that guides our lives in order to determine the next step for our family and for us professionally. All of our current students will either graduate high school, complete the program or transition to another placement by August 16th. This will be our last graduation and completion ceremony at MMS. We see it as a graduation of sorts for us as well, a time to celebrate our 19 years of service,  a natural and appropriate time to begin our reflective process, upcoming sabbatical and well-deserved rest.

Thank you for your support, and we hope to hear from many of you.

John Mercer, M.S.
School Head and Co-founder

Colleen Harrington
Assistant School Head and Co-founder

Posted by John on 08/08 at 03:47 PM

MMS Diamond Anchor

John and Colleen:  It was with great sadness that I read your letter that Whitney and I received last week.  You have done SO VERY MUCH for others and I’m sure it has been draining.  I also understand to, finally, put the needs of children and family first.

I can’t imagine where Whitney (or the rest of the family) would be now without her intervention and time at MMS.  It truly allowed us to get her back on the right track and we will never forget ALL that you did for her and our family.

You, and the school, will be greatly missed.  I hope this sabbatical will prove a wonderful new experience.  Please keep in touch.  We send our love and best wishes,

Terri Stone

    --Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/02  at  03:53 PM

I was informed by my parents about your decision, and was so sad at the news! A legacy no more- it is bittersweet.

Although I had my “issues”, I gained more from MMS than any other program. The friends I made are still friend today. I have been enjoying reconnecting and talking about the old days.

To you, John and Colleen, I wish the best for your and your children’s lives. Being a parent is such a wonderful and time consuming job, it is no surprise you chose to devote all your time and energy to that.

Thank you so much for all you did for me and my family. We are very close, and I am finally successful!

Love Always!

-Kelli Goldman

    --Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/21  at  05:19 PM

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