Dr. Juhel officially opened the 2017–18 school year with a powerful message to all of the students, faculty, and staff:
The beginning of a new school year is a big deal. You have all moved up a grade level. More importantly, we are all given the opportunity to set new goals for ourselves, to dream big dreams, to better ourselves, and to do our part in bettering our community.
There are two things that I'd like you to think about before we officially kick off the beginning of the 2017/ 2018 school year which, by the way, will mark Buckley's 95th year.
The number one thing is to make the most of this incredible gift of an education you have been given, this incredible privilege you are enjoying. You have teachers completely dedicated to your success. You have everything you need, and more, certainly more than the vast majority of children in other schools, other parts of the country, and other parts of the world.
The way you don't let this gift of an education go to waste is by making sure you're doing your job as a student. That means that you're always prepared for class, you're always engaged in class, and you're always curious and eager to learn more. In a school like this one, with the teachers you have, and the resources you have, your brains should be on fire all the time.
Now, the year is not just about your own self. You're also part of a community. In fact, you should think of yourselves as ambassadors of the Buckley community, in school, outside of school, and on social media.
That, too, being part of the Buckley community, is an amazing gift. If you look at the person sitting next to you the odds are pretty good that he or she looks different from you, that he or she lives in a different town, that he or she has different interests and celebrates different traditions. I think that you know by now that Buckley is a place where we show the utmost respect for what makes us all diverse and different from one another. I know you know by now that there is no place for disrespect of one another here at Buckley. But, as importantly, this is a place where we learn from our differences. Wouldn't it be interesting to learn more about the person sitting next to you? Does he speak another language, besides English? I wonder if she goes to a temple, a church, a mosque, a synagogue, or somewhere different. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know the many other things that make him or her unique and different from you?
We like the fact that we are all different. The only thing we should have in common, in fact, is our desire to do well in school and to do good in our communities.
I trust that you know that we all care about the way that we treat one another and that you remember that a bad day at Buckley is when someone is made to feel hurt, small, or insignificant.
I trust that you will all make sure that we don't have this kind of bad days, not only by not being the one hurting others, but also by speaking up when you see something that you don't like happen.
It is amazing the simple things you can do that can make such a big difference. Today, at recess, take the time to go up to the kid who is sitting alone before you go up to your friends.
Finally, I hope that what I'm asking you to do and think about you will all do not because you don't want to get in trouble, not because you think we're all watching you, but simply because you know it is expected of you as a Buckley student (even if the bar is high), because you know that it is the right thing to do, and because YOU want to make this community a good place to be and to learn for all of us, a place you are proud to be part of.
On that note, with that in mind, let’s declare the 2017/2018 school year open and let's all enjoy a great year together