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Andrew's Letter

On the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of Oneness-Family School, it is truly humbling to think of the amazing journey this has been. Oneness-Family School has been so much more than a job for me — it has been like a huge work of art that I began and then myriad others contributed their distinct brush strokes to the evolving master work.

The very first years of the school were filled with great excitement, energy, and at times exhaustion. We had only two full time employees including myself. Sometimes I was so tired I would lie down and take a nap with the younger students.

As the school was very small, we could be totally flexible. On beautiful spring days we could stay outside for a couple of hours and just play games. We could also decide on the spur of the moment to go on a field trip into DC or to a nature trail. We took longer trips to New England and camped at my Uncle Joe’s farm, where my mother cooked for us, and we also visited a sister school in New Hampshire. Our very first year we rented space in the (now) Tilden Middle School; our whole school fit into the library space of that building! Then we found a home at St. John’s Episcopal Church in 1989, where we’ve been for the past 29 years. As we expanded over the years, the partnership with the congregation of St. John’s became more and more appreciated, and we are particularly grateful to the church leadership that has supported the school as a tenant over these many years.

Looking back on our earliest parents, it is amazing to think of how much they embraced the vision of OFS, how much they trusted me, and how much they supported the school in so many ways — by volunteering in classrooms or driving on trips, by putting flyers around town, by building or repairing equipment, and in so many other ways. Without their trust and support OFS would never have been able to take hold.

Indeed, this tradition of partnership between parents and the school became a hallmark of our development over the years, as generations of parents gave their ideas, expertise, creativity, and time to make the school successful and the community richer and more vibrant. Today, several former parents continue to serve the school as members of the school’s Board of Trustees, while so many others continue to be sounding boards or provide connections and resources to benefit the school’s growth. 

As I think of all the students who have come through the halls of the school, I see so many faces, so many young, developing personalities. I always strive to instill in OFS teachers that our biggest goals is to help students discover and develop their gifts, and to empower them to dream of a future where those gifts may be shared with the world. To follow the stories of our students after they graduate from OFS has truly been one of my greatest joys. 

If a life well lived is defined by finding a purpose bigger than oneself and giving oneself to that purpose, then my life as founder of Oneness-Family School has been truly a great gift. 

As a result of the school my life has been touched by so many amazing people. I’ve had the chance to feel that I’ve made a tangible difference in the world, which is a rare thing. As I look ahead to the next 30 years of Oneness-Family School, I feel the deepest sense of gratitude, as well as a great sense of possibility for what lies ahead.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019