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
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