Class of '05
The following speech was given by Aaron at our December 2017 Alumni Gathering:
When Mrs. McClary first asked me to speak tonight, I spent a long time trying to write a nice, objective speech highlighting the merits and of Mrs. Judge and Radcliffe, and I failed miserably. I found the only way I would be able to make this work would be to speak anecdotally. So I hope that in telling my own story, I will be able to properly honor Mrs. Judge and the school.
When I was very young, I struggled with dyslexia. I was attending Kent School at the time, but I came to Radcliffe for tutelage to help with my reading and writing.
Thanks to teachers like Mrs. McClary and Mrs. Holmes, and the creative learning styles encouraged by Mrs. Judge and her staff, I was able to overcome the negative effects of my dyslexia, and today reading and writing are not chores, but in fact, activities I do for pleasure. Those who believe that dyslexia actually positively impacts imagination and creativity might consider that for me it is now a gift, one that enhanced my life and that I use daily.
In fifth grade I was struggling with math at Kent School. There was no help to be had there, no flexibility or creative teaching. This led me to enroll at Radcliffe full time. Thanks to teachers that approached their students with patience and understanding, I passed math, and now I’ve gone so far as to pass integral calculus, which is pretty cool I think, and it’s because of the foundation provided by Radcliffe.
I went to high school at Gunston, a very reading and writing intensive school with an exhaustive curriculum. I often say that Gunston over-prepared me for college, but it was Radcliffe that prepared me for Gunston. It is because of Radcliffe that I was able to excel in an environment in which I likely would have failed otherwise. I hate to think of the opportunities I might have missed had it not been for Radcliffe, and of the opportunities other students may be missing because they do not have a school like Radcliffe and teachers who care enough to put extraordinary effort into their charges. Were you to ask around this room, I’m sure my fellow alumni would all have a story tell similar to my own.
And ultimately, we all have Mrs. Judge to thank. Her vision provided us with a safe, caring environment in which to learn and grow. She brought together a staff comprised of genuinely caring teachers who nurtured us and gave us the building blocks necessary to realize our potential, and who most importantly approached us with kindness and patience even when we could not do the same for ourselves. The legacy she has built has helped so many students in some of the most important years of their development, and it will continue to do so. And so it is with much gratitude and praise that I ask you to join me in giving Mrs. Judge a big round of applause.