Saying Goodbye to 2017-2018

As this is our last Eagle of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for allowing us the privilege of partnering with you in the education of your children. We have had a year where we have needed to “Stand United,” as we supported each other through times of great joy but also times of great sorrow.

Last night we ended the year with the lovely celebration of the hard work of the Class of 2018. Adib Zin Alabedin, the class valedictorian, and Ahmad Ibrahim, the salutatorian, did a wonderful job in delivering their speeches. Ms. Emilia Baldovska, science teacher and senior advisor, was chosen by the senior class to be the graduation speaker. She encouraged the graduates to find their purpose in life. I closed out the evening by reminding us all that life is short, and that we should live each day as if it were our last. We are given 86.400 seconds a day to use for God’s glory. Let’s “redeem the time,” taking advantage of every breath, for each and every one is a gift from God.

Looking ahead to next year, please mark your calendars for the first day of school on Wednesday, August 22. There will be an orientation for students entering grade six on Tuesday, August 21, as well. If you are not returning to ICSV next year, we say a reluctant “goodbye,” for this is one aspect of living in an international community that is really hard to do. We trust that your time here was special and that you will remember it fondly. You will be missed.

Thank you again for your support of ICSV. This has been a great year!

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.

Happiness is…

Something I’ve been thinking about lately is just how fleeting life is. This year, we pretty much just blinked, and it’s over. The older I get, the shorter each year seems. At our last All-Staff Devotions, I shared about how we need to remember that life is short. We need to “redeem the time,” as we are reminded throughout the Bible. We never know when it may be the last time that we get to do something or to see someone.

Last week during the Middle School Musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, the kids sang a song that I also sang way back in elementary school. The show came out in 1967, when I was in the fourth grade. The song is called Happiness. The cast of the play are all little kids, so their perspective may be a bit different than ours today, but becoming like a child to see things for the delight that they really are is so important. Soon after this came out, a little comic was in the newspaper each week with different ideas of what happiness means to people. My mother used to cut them out for me, and by the time I went to college, I had a whole box full of these sayings. I would color the picture and give them to people as a means of encouraging them.

Today, as you enjoy the words of this song, I encourage you to be thankful for the little things that happen every day that you can celebrate.

Happiness is finding a pencil, pizza with sausage, telling the time.
Happiness is learning to whistle, tying your shoe for the very first time.
Happiness is playing the drums in your own school band,
And happiness is walking hand in hand.

Happiness is two kinds of ice cream, knowing a secret, climbing a tree.
Happiness is five different crayons, catching a firefly, setting him free.
Happiness is being alone every now and then,
And happiness is coming home again.

Happiness is morning and evening, daytime and nighttime, too.
For happiness is anyone and anything at all that’s loved by you!

Happiness is having a sister, sharing a sandwich, getting along.
Happiness is singing together when day is through.
And happiness is those who sing with you

Happiness is morning and evening, daytime and nighttime, too.
For happiness is anyone and anything at all that’s loved by you!

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.

PS. I still love ice cream, crayons, singing together, and having a sister!

One Body, One Voice

Tuesday, May 29, was a packed evening with the Sports Awards, then the Secondary Concert, followed by scenes from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. The students were honored for their hard work and dedication in athletics, music, and drama. What an amazing night!

I love the theme of the Secondary Concert: One Body, One Voice. When I first saw the poster, I immediately thought of one of my favorite Barry Manilow hits called One Voice. I had not heard it when I went to my very first professional concert in New York City. The year was 1980. Barry Manilow came out on stage and began singing without any instrumental accompaniment. The words that he began to sing were:

Just one voice singing in the darkness,
All it takes is one voice,
Singing so they hear what’s on your mind,
And when you look around you’ll find
There’s more than one voice singing in the darkness,
Joining with your one voice,
Each and every note another octave,
Hands are joined and fears unlocked,
If only one voice which started on its own
We need just one voice facing the unknown,
And then that one voice would never be alone.
It takes that one voice.

Just one voice singing in the darkness,
All it takes is one voice,
Shout it out and let it ring,
Just one voice,
It takes that one voice,
And everyone will sing!

Out of the darkness came the voices of hundreds of children who joined him. And then came the instruments. That one voice became many, and it built and built until the music was filling the whole auditorium. I will never forget the impact of that night. Ever since, it has been my dream to conduct a choir and orchestra in singing One Voice.

This song reminds me of John the Baptist who is described in the Bible as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord.’” John was just one person letting everyone around him know that one greater than he was about to come. That person was Jesus.

I may be just one person, but it is my responsibility to use my voice to proclaim Jesus Christ to the nations. If one person tells just one person, and that person tells one, the message will be spread from person to person, from family to family, from city to city, from country to country, from continent to continent…until “the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together.” Yes, just one voice can make a difference.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.