Just after 8:30 a.m. Friday, 83 students from Germantown Friends School gathered on the steps outside the school’s Coulter Street entrance for their final group photo before becoming the school’s Class of 2013.
Inside, as those students prepared to board buses bound for their commencement ceremony at Arch Street Meeting House in Old City, retiring Head of School Richard Wade spoke with NewsWorks about how he felt on the last day at the job he’s held for the past 20 years.
Reflecting and looking forward
As a white boutineer was being pinned to his dress jacket, Wade deflected attention back onto the soon-to-be graduates.
“My mind is on these students. Today is a huge deal for them,” said Wade, noting that the community has already ceremonially commemorated his GFS career.
Wade then noted that he will certainly miss being around the students, faculty, alumni and extended GFS family’s “strong sense of community.”
What did he expect to feel later in the morning, after his last commencement as head of school?
“The finality of it, that’s real, but I’ll be fine,” said Wade who, with his wife, will split time between Philadelphia and Virginia. As for what’s next, it will be “restful for at least a day or two [since] the responsibility of working with 860 kids, and families, and alumni [will be lifted]. But I will certainly miss this.”