After each semester at Middlesex, we gather to celebrate the academic achievements of our students at the Academic Awards Assembly. At this week’s assembly, we acknowledged work done in the 2014 fall semester. For a full list of students receiving honors, please click here.
To open the assembly, history teacher Dr. Munro discussed the philosophies of two educators: Frederick Winsor, the founder of Middlesex School, and Gilbert Haven Jones, head of Wilberforce University, whom Munro studied in graduate school:
“Frederick Winsor and Gilbert Haven Jones were progressive men who used education as a way to challenge norms, their students, and themselves. They understood that the study of history and philosophy were tools to be used to help students make sense of who they were and who they aimed to become. I, myself, am still a student. I am still learning how to use history to help my students find their promise. But I’m inspired by these two men and their work. I see in them a drive to educate students to become the type of global citizens the world needs. That is to say—Winsor, Jones, and I—have worked hard to show our students that the world is a place in need of new ideas, energy, compassion, and love. For Winsor, a graduate of Middlesex had an obligation to “serve for the sake of serving” and to have a heart that was “filled with true sympathy for the people he/she finds about him.” For Jones, a graduate of Wilberforce University was obligated to not only find success for themselves, but also the African American community.
For me, I believe that my history students have an obligation to be thinkers. Thinking through history is great practice for you all as you continue to prepare to engage the world and the billion ideas which are contained within it. As I said, I’m still a student; I’m still learning. Frederick Winsor and Gilbert Haven Jones, their lives, their work, and their philosophies reflect my education at this stage of my life. They helped me understand how my academic background got me here, how it’s helping me as a teacher, and how it will ultimately continue to evolve. Winsor and Jones were continuous students; they had to be. I hope to be the same.
Although the goal of this assembly is to honor the hard work and accomplishments of all of you here, I hope that all of you keep in mind that educational leaders like Winsor, Jones, and the faculty here wish for you to use these awards as motivation to work harder, challenge yourselves, and care for one another; be proud of each other today, you all deserve it.”