Earlier this week our staff and faculty were thrilled to welcome our first class of seniors! Along with our first graduating class, which includes 17 seniors, comes our first prom, Senior Project Presentations, and many other highlights.

Head of School Hadley Ruggles stepped into the college counseling class on the first day of school to talk to our seniors and inspire them to make the most of the their remaining time with us. It seemed worthwhile to share with our interested families a sneak peek at what is happening in the uppermost grade at BASIS Independent Brooklyn.

Ms. Ruggles' Address to Incoming Seniors (edited)

This year has the potential to be an extraordinary one for you. A lot rests in your hands in terms of what you want to make of it. I want to encourage all of you to seek support; seek help; ask questions. If you have an idea, let me know. We want to make it happen. This is a time when we can organize fun social events; this is a time when you can explore topics in depth in your Senior Projects. This should be a fantastic year. There is so much to look forward to—prom, perhaps another "Lock In Overnight" social event at the school similar to the one organized last year, and graduation.

Remember we have two thirds of the year together, and the last third you will pursue your own interests. Then you come back and we will have a big ceremony with your loved ones and family to celebrate your next steps in life. To me that is why we are here as educators. We are here to prepare you and be proud of you.

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This summer I met with a former student [from BASIS Scottsdale], and she attends UPENN. We met for coffee in the city together, and I asked her what she was doing. She told me she was in New York, since she had a meeting at the United Nations. Last year she spoke at a World Health Organization annual event in Geneva where she was able to speak with the secretaries and WHO administrators. She told me that she had a great time and couldn't help but think back to her senior project when she started studying global health. 

She completed her Senior Project and just several years later she is excited to speak in front of delegates in Geneva at the World Health Organization. You are equally capable of greatness. If you are really seeking and taking advantage of everything that is in front of you, there is nothing that is going to stop you. A lot of people are excited to open doors for you. Take advantage of that. If you come to a door, then we will help you open it. That is ultimately the point of your senior year—to be prepared, to become confident, and to go out to university and beyond applying all you have learned. 

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I will be visiting your class this year to help you with Senior Projects to talk about how to write good research questions, tap into resources, and make the most of the experience. I promise to be available to you to take the project to the next level. This is where my passion really lies. I am here and keen to meet you with one-on-one. I have very high hopes for each of you.

You are the pioneers of this school. You are the trailblazers. By being the first graduating class, you are setting an example for all classes to come. 

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All of us—faculty and school leadership—are eager to be mentors on top of guiding students through the curriculum in a more traditional student-teacher model this year. Welcome back to all of our students! We have an inspiring year ahead of us together.