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Milton Hershey School Alumnus is Excited for 2020-21 School Year

By Dale Williams ‘94, MHS Social and Emotional Learning Teacher

As an alumnus and staff member of Milton Hershey School, I have participated in many Opening of School traditions throughout the years. Due to coronavirus, we were not able to be together in person this year for an assembly, but I felt that the Opening of School activities that MHS put together were fulfilling and got the community excited for the year.

It is uplifting to see the great length MHS will go to encourage students and staff through difficult times. My favorite parts of the Opening of School festivities were seeing the encouraging messages from staff on campus for the 2020-21 school year and how the activities were focused on unity-building, although we were socially-distanced.

Looking forward into this school year, I am most excited to see how staff and students will grow and learn together. The school year theme, Our Future in Focus, fits well with my motto for my classroom this year: “We can do HARD things.”

Dale Williams classroom of students

The social and emotional learning skills that students learn in my classroom are life skills, and incorporating this year’s theme will be fitting as I teach students how to manage their feelings and emotions as we move forward in life. Whether students are solving problems in the classroom or in the workforce, they will need to develop these skills to help them be successful.

Despite the challenges we face as a community, even me as an alumnus, I think we can make this year the best one yet. The trials we will face can help us grow together and fulfill the vision of Milton and Catherine Hershey. The difficult circumstances will develop grit and determination. We can learn to be enthusiastic even when things aren’t going our way. Like I tell my students, attitude is a choice.

With Our Future in Focus, we can do HARD things!

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