Celebrating Founder's Day
May 1, 2022
Dear Friends of High Mowing School,
I hope you have all been well. So much has happened on Abbot Hill since I last wrote.
Last month marked the two-year anniversary of High Mowing’s difficult decision to close the High School and the Pine Hill campus at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like other New Hampshire schools, HMS then shifted to remote learning for the rest of the 2019-20 school year.
The financial and social impact of the pandemic on our school and our students was immediate and severe. But High Mowing’s truly amazing faculty and administration responded to the crisis creatively and effectively, prioritizing our children’s safety while continuing to deliver on our core mission of education. We re-opened our campuses to in-person Waldorf education in the Fall of 2020, and have since delivered on our mission.
It has been a challenging time, and our community has risen to face the difficulty with resolve and resilience. Our enrollment has increased significantly during this time, bringing many new students to our campuses.
In the meantime, High Mowing’s finance committee met the financial fallout of COVID-19 head-on with a set of difficult cost controls, and an aggressive pursuit of our share of COVID relief funding from the federal government. I am pleased to say that we have survived the COVID-19 financial crisis with our budget intact and our financial capabilities strengthened.
And High Mowing’s giving community responded with significant and timely generosity.
As High Mowing School’s Board President, I could not be more proud of our faculty, staff and students. Their hard work, dedication and ingenuity, as well as the strong and creative leadership demonstrated by our Head of School Kate Meyer and her very capable Management Council, carried us through.
Kate, the Board of Trustees, and I are excited now to be guiding High Mowing’s return to a full range of both traditional and new projects and activities - and to the post-COVID re-integration of our students and faculty, both with each other and with the greater community. We see a very bright future for High Mowing School, and all of us here on Abbot Hill are so looking forward to building and meeting that future together.
This month we will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the founding of High Mowing. On Sunday, May 8 at 2 p.m. in the Chapel, current students and faculty will gather to honor our founder, and my grandmother, Mrs. Beulah H. Emmet. The following day, May 9, we will have a Founder’s Day of Giving. We will honor three qualities that my grandmother demonstrated — that have brought us to today and will carry us into the future — vision, determination, and generosity.
In the midst of the Second World War, my grandmother transformed our family farm on Abbot Hill into a school — founded on the principles of Rudolf Steiner. She held a vision for Education that was very well-suited to meet the developmental needs of both children and young adults.
Imagine the courage to start a new independent school during wartime. Mrs. Emmet was in her 50s when she began this endeavor — and she executed it with remarkable determination.
Mrs. Emmet opened the doors of the Big Room to students from down the road, and from across the globe. And every year, she made it financially possible for her many students to attend High Mowing School. Her generosity was magnificent — and it touched many lives.
These qualities of vision, determination and generosity have guided us now through 80 years. And they are evident today as we meet new challenges and welcome a new generation of students.
And so, 80 years on, we call on our alumni, our parents — past and present — and our wider community to help us ensure there will be 80 more years of Waldorf education on Abbot Hill.
I thank you in advance for honoring my grandmother and her legacy.
Richard H. Emmet
High Mowing School - Board of Trustees
President and Finance Committee Chair