Dear SBMS Faculty -- honored veterans, fine alumni, and new legends-in-the-making---
Thinking about end-of-year gifts today, I decided the major check I’ll write this year will be to all of you, in the form of a gift to SBMS. In spite of our limping economy, I want to honor an make concrete the respect, love and appreciation I have for each of you and the amazing work you do, year in and year out.
As old timers and dear friends among you know, I was an SBMS teacher for 15 years, as well as a parent, and a board member. I know and love SBMS from the inside out, and I want to support you however I can. I know, oh so well, that it takes strong focus and dedication to do all the work required to give the students the best you know, and then go out on trips, which, though they define the school in amazing ways, can be as challenging for adults as kids.
So even though my gift may end up spent on site expenses, insurance, or whatever calls, I want you to know my intention is that it benefits all of you in some way. The students need you, the school needs, and is, you, and though bricks and mortar may be rented or purchased, it is all of you who are in my heart as I send my annual gift to SBMS.
“My name is Kenny Hughes, and our daughter, Geneva, invited me to join her on a Middle School trip in 2000, and it changed me forever. I still go on SBMS trips from time to time, mainly to see how these trips change others and help them grow, and also for fun of course. Many times the change in someone from the beginning of the trip to the end is astounding. Geneva is now 21, in her last year of college, and I've seen her take the Middle School magic with her and apply it to her life. I've proudly watched her navigate the inevitable rocky stretches and hills which she's encountered with confidence, as well as that special SBMS sense of humor. The lessons she learned sitting around the fire have better-equipped her to deal with whatever curve ball gets thrown her direction.”
--Kenny Hughes, Parent
“I am living in Farmington New Mexico and I am enrolled in the renewable energy program at San Juan College. My most memorable experience during my time with Middle School was on the Four Corners trip. At Chaco Canyon we met in a very large kiva and every person on that trip was able to fit inside. After the talk, we started playing music. People were playing drums and guitars. Other kids began to dance. The feeling in the air was one of the most magical and powerful I have ever felt. My whole experience at Middle School was one that I will never forget.” Go Solar!”
--Chris Dabney, Class of 1996
"I am at a Junior Statesman of America conference and over one-third of the twenty-eight Santa Barbara High School delegates are graduates of SBMS. These ten young men and women began their adolescence at SBMS. The real success, however, is that they continue on to become responsible citizens of a larger community. They are the legacy of SBMS, more so now than when they were students there."
Ann Lippencott, Parent
“I wanted to thank you for the best education I have ever had. It went far beyond the classroom and far beyond my expectations. I don't think I'll ever have a more incredible time than these years here. I thank you for finding such dedicated people to carry out your dreams.”
Marissa Mika, Student
“Alex is learning subject matter I don't remember covering until high school. She's really having fun with the assignments.”
Bob Patterson, Parent
“Natasha has taken all of the techniques you have offered her. A great understanding has been built for her to show her academic success. What she's developed is confidence and the tools to succeed in any environment.”
Brecia Logan, Parent
“I just read the newsletter and my mind is officially boggled. As a middle school teacher myself and the nerve-wracked parent of a 7th grader, I can attest that your program is really extremely cool and unprecedented and it makes me want to move back to Santa Barbara and jump right into your scene. Rwanda!! What?! I've always admired the openness and adventurous spirit infused in everything you do as a school and as individuals. I hope it lasts forever. I suppose it was that way when I went to SBMS in its very first year--guess it was 197...7? Margot was the head of school, Ed Murphy taught science. I was only 11...Anyway, yay for all you guys. I'm inspired. I'm using this newsletter as a teaching tool for the graduate class I teach called 'Philosophy of Middle School Education.' Thanks for that too.
Best to all,
Class of (a really long time ago)”