A Welcome Letter from Mrs. Raba

Dear LuHi student, 

As I write this letter, my daughter, a soon-to-be 2nd grader, has fallen asleep after prayers to help her through the first-day-of-school jitters. She’s done this night before, but somehow, as she gets older, it morphs. Perhaps you are feeling it now as you prepare for your first day of ______ grade. I can just about guarantee that I, as your principal, am feeling the jitters myself. I do, every year. Really! Even after over 30 years of first days of school. My guess is some of your teachers are feeling it, too. 

Back to my daughter. She described her feelings as part excitement, part nervousness. Can you relate? For my daughter, it’s just about equal parts of both. She is returning to the same school for the 2nd year in a row; the nerves definitely outdid the excitement last year, and this year, she’s pretty much 50/50. Where are you as you read this? Take a moment now to check in. 

Wherever you find yourself in this moment, I want to share a few commitments that I, as your principal, have for you as we enter the 2019-20 school year. I certainly don’t know it all, but over my time as a student, teacher, administrator, daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend, I have learned a few things. I hope these nuggets are helpful to you at some point this year, or in your time at LuHi, if not right at this moment.
  1. You can’t control everything. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Let go, and let God”? I know I need to remind myself of this from time to time. However, I also know that in every situation, I bear a responsibility. We all do, but we can’t control the outcome. All that we can control, in the end, is ourselves. At times in my life, this has been upsetting and frustrating, but at other times, I’ve found it incredibly empowering. A combination of self-control and confidence that God is at the wheel is something I pray for each of you.
  1. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. This is often difficult for me to remember in the moment. When an idea strikes, I want to see it through to fruition, like, yesterday. In my role at LuHi, I contribute to a school experience that I want to see improve each and every year, but we can’t do everything all at once. When I think of how this nugget applies to you, I equate the marathon to the middle and high school experience. Each hour of each day of each year contributes to the growth and development of an individual who we hope will move on from LuHi to become who God intends them to be, not just tomorrow, not just the day after graduation, but years down the road, too. On my laptop resides a sticker with the line from Finding Dory, “Just keep swimming”. I encourage you to keep running the race set before you, knowing that you don’t have to accomplish everything right at this moment. We all have a lot of growing and learning to do. Embrace it and enjoy the process!
  1. There is a time for everything. After the recent passing of a dear friend, someone recommended that I re-read the book of Ecclesiastes, for myriad reasons. While I read for comfort at that time, a very familiar verse: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1), helped me in gearing up for the new school year amid the challenges of grief. When I met with our senior student government reps and officers today, we spoke of the importance of joyfully approaching each day. But we also know that there will be difficult times and moments woven in there. It’s part of growth and part of our experience as humans. It helps me to return to scripture in tough moments (we all have them), and perhaps this verse will comfort you at some point this year or into the future.
  1. Don’t be afraid to be silly. I have a few mantras I hold close in my life: All in joy. Assume the best. Embrace the cheese. As in cheesy-ness. Yes, I believe this is important. As I see students in the halls after sports practices and enjoying these days before school begins, I see that silliness. We all have it, though we express it in different ways. For me, the video we created yesterday for our back-to-school countdown showed a bit of my silliness. Sometimes we need to just step back and be grateful for the ways our lives and our time at LuHi provide opportunities to really just enjoy the moment. I embrace the cheese, I invite you to open yourself to it here and there. Who knows? You may just make someone’s day.
  2. You are loved. This is the final, and most important of them all. As a part of the LuHi community, we love you. We care for you and we want what’s best for you. We support one another and do our best to lift each other up. We may not always see eye to eye, but we treat each other with respect and dignity, apologize when we mess up, and forgive as we are forgiven. We do not this of ourselves, but because we know that God loves us. Period. If you take nothing else from this letter, please keep this one close.
I can’t wait until we’re all together. Join us tonight for Opening Worship at 7pm, as we kick off a new school year under our theme, LIGHT. Then, rest up and get ready for a great year at LuHi! I can’t wait to see you, nor can your teachers. I’ll see you at the top of the hill on Thursday, no matter the weather. 

With God’s Hand in Ours,
Mrs. Raba
Long Island Lutheran Middle & High School    |    131 Brookville Road, Brookville NY 11545    |   516.626.1700
Long Island Lutheran Middle & High School is a Christ-centered, college-preparatory school whose mission is to glorify God by educating young people in body, mind, and spirit.