On June 7th, New Hope-Solebury High School students and teachers surprised their beloved principal with a farewell assembly since he is retiring after seventeen years. As Dr. Young entered the school auditorium, students and teachers stood and cheered as Rod Stewart’s Forever Young played. Clapping and shouts of adornment continued as photographs of Dr. Young throughout the years were projected on the screen. Student leaders then presented him with kind words and lasting gifts.
Student government president, Nick Kinsley, let Dr. Young know that a wild lion in Africa has been adopted in his name on behalf of the student government: a fitting gift as the lion is the school mascot. “Dr. Young has given us a sense of community that most other schools can’t match. And most of all, he’s given us pride,” commented Nick.
Next, students presented Dr. Young with gifts that represent his school motto of “Thought, civility and joy.” For “thought”, student officers Emma Natale and Lindsey Czajkowski presented Dr. Young with journals for students to write their thoughts and sentiments about him. “He has created a safe and accepting place for us to learn and grow,” commented Emma.
Representing “civility”, National Honor Society president, Elizabeth Lucy, advised Dr. Young that the school’s National Honor Society committee donated a patio set to the school’s library courtyard in his honor. The cement table is painted with the words “Thought, Civility, Joy.” “ It is our belief that the table will be a place to gather, work together, collaborate and create stability,” commented Elizabeth.
For “joy”, senior class officer, Tom Hisch, presented Dr. Young with a plaque entitled, “The Stephen B. Young Courtyard” and announced that the library courtyard is dedicated in his name. “It’s clear to me that Dr. Young has derived much joy in his years here as high school principal,” said Tom. “Whether he is at a sporting event or some other extracurricular activity, or simple walking the halls, there is rarely a time when Dr. Young doesn’t possess an authentic smile.”
Student council member, Tim Gimple, was met with applause and laughter when he addressed Dr. Young and stated that the students wouldn’t be disappointed if he pulled a “Brett Favre” and came back from retirement.
Dr. Young concluded the celebration with words of appreciation and with words of encouragement and advice. His impromptu speech was touching and moving, bringing quite a few tears in the crowd. “I’ve loved my seventeen years here,” Dr. Young said through choked tears. “We couldn’t have a greater group of kids and faculty and a support of community. We really have something special and I ask that you maintain that. Build on it and cherish the time you have together as I have with you. I’ll remember this moment for the rest of my life.”