To the Editor:

I just left the high school after a form drop off with the school nurse and as I was immediately hit with the smell of new paint and scenes of people working everywhere at 7:30 in the morning to beautify the school, I immediately starting sobbing.

Yes, it's an emotional week when you only have five more days with your first born son before he leaves you for college, but it was more than that. I started to think again how incredibly lucky our family is to have landed here in Chatham and having our kids be so fortunate to be part of the Chatham school district.  Graduation month was one of the fondest memories I have. Even though the graduation itself is held in Mennen Arena with hundreds of kids and families packing it, you can’t help but feel the positive energy in a  place that is overflowing with so much love and pride of all the families. 

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Everything about the month - from the baccalaureate masa to the various ceremonies to the parties and the prom and project graduation - everything, just everything, created lifetime memories and happiness we will treasure forever. Everything about Chatham High’s graduation experience exceeded any expectations, and I am still on a high from it all.

The reason I am writing this is because I know that no school or teacher or administrator is perfect ... just as no family, parent or student is.  But in everything that matters most in life to me - Chatham schools are perfect. And I am so grateful for everyone and everything that has helped get our flawed family to a point of such eternal gratitude.

I wish every single person, teacher, administrator, board of ed member, student, college-bound kid, family and parent the best year ever. Treasure every second. These years go by quick and soon the smell of new paint in a high school hallway will make you burst into tears too!

With great gratitude,
Laura Ali (mom of Jack, Matt and Tom Nonnenmacher)