In a typical year, the yearbook's dedication would be presented to the entire Tabor community at Chapel in the spring. Because of COVID, we were, unfortunately, unable to participate in last year's ceremony; however, we want to use this opportunity to share the yearbook's dedication with the broader community. To that end, we invite you to read the printed remarks in the yearbook, which were written by faculty member Lauren Boucher and senior Lainie Cederholm '21. The 2019-2020 yearbook is dedicated to Amelia Wright!
Ms. Lauren Boucher
One of the things I like most about working and living at Tabor Academy is the cross-generational nature of the work, and my friendship with Amelia Wright is evidence as to why my feeling is so strong. Arriving at Tabor straight out of Oberlin College in Ohio, Ms. Wright was assigned to work with me in the community service program. To say that I taught her the ropes is ridiculous. During our first year working together, we struck up a friendship, and I was thrilled to see her jump in feet first. During her second year in community service, Ms. Wright took command of some of our bigger projects, including Holiday Hope, the fall morning of service, and the spring clothing drive. A quick study, Ms. Wright devised ways to broaden the service program, making it more effective and teaching me some new ways to look at the program along the way.
Within several years of her arrival at Tabor, Ms. Wright moved into Baxter House, becoming my down-the-hallway neighbor. Our mutual love of dogs (and most other members of the animal kingdom), food, travel, and thrift cemented our friendship, and once again, I learned from Ms. Wright by being witness to the ways in which she cared for, laughed with, and supported the crazy young women who have lived under the Baxter roof in the three or so years since she arrived at Bax.
I don’t often describe people as passionate, mostly because I think the word is overused. However, in Ms. Wright’s case, I struggle to find a better descriptor. Ms. Wright is responsible for introducing the power of peaceful protest to Tabor’s students when in 2018 she rallied eager students and transported them to the Cambridge/Boston Women’s March. Protest, advocacy, and standing strong for the rights of humankind, Ms. Wright believes that resistance is indeed built on hope. In a photo from the 2017 Women’s March, Ms. Wright wore a pussyhat and a sign that read, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Keenly understanding her own privilege, Ms. Wright eloquently argues for the rights of those who are hesitant to speak up or who feel stifled. During her time at Tabor, students learned to look to her as an adult who would help them find their voices so that they might speak up for themselves, their families, and their friends — a necessary skill to learn early in life.
A year ago Ms. Wright faced a bully when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Initially crushed by the diagnosis, she quickly rose back up, learned all she could, and leaned on the Tabor community for support -- something we were all eager to give to the woman we had come to both adore and respect. Less than a year later, she stood in front of us at Chapel, where she spoke eloquently and with love in her heart. That day we learned what it looks like to be a survivor. We’re going to miss you at the School by the Sea, Ms. Wright. The lessons you have taught go far beyond the walls of your classroom. How lucky we all are to have been your students. Thank you.
Lainie Cederholm ’21
Most people have heard the rumors about Ms. Wright’s honors biology class. It was said to be the hardest class at Tabor. I was very nervous going in expecting to be met by a rigid teacher who plowed through material whether you were on board or not. Instead, I met Ms. Wright. She always started class with a smile and her love of the material made us all more eager to take on the challenging work given to us. It was hard, but we all wanted to do our best to make Ms. Wright proud. She pushed all of her students because she saw our potential and wanted us to be able to take pride in our own work. It probably was the hardest class I have taken at Tabor, but it was also one of my favorites.
Obviously I learned so much from Ms. Wright in her class, but really it was an opportunity to build a foundation for a more meaningful relationship. When it came time to choose an advisor for the next year, it was a no-brainer for me. There was never an advisory meeting without ridiculous laughter and shenanigans. I spent just about every office hours in S8 with her and a few friends. I’m sure we bugged her all the time, but she always welcomed us in and gave us a place to relax in the middle of the day. Anyone can be goofy and fun, but Ms. Wright also will listen to any problem and genuinely care about making sure you are okay. Since knowing Ms. Wright, I have shared so many issues with her that she might know me better than anyone else. She fights for the people she cares about to make sure they are getting the most out of their time at Tabor and beyond. She guides her advice on her values of honesty, integrity, empathy, and love. Her unique blend of a scientific thinking strategy with a keen understanding of emotions makes her the perfect mediator. She is my go to for any problem I have no matter how big or small.
I was initially devastated when I heard last year that Ms. Wright would be leaving Tabor to live in San Diego. I didn’t know what I would do without my rock at Tabor, but I realized that it did not matter where she ended up, she would still listen to what was happening in my life and genuinely care about my success. I also saw how excited she was to be pursuing her dream with this new opportunity and after all of the support she gave me, how could I possibly not support her? And so we all said our goodbyes.
Over the summer, Ms. Wright called the whole advisory to tell us that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I couldn’t believe it when she told us. I can’t imagine what it is like to get that news, especially at such a young age, but Ms. Wright still kept steady and made sure we felt as good as we could for the situation at hand. She told us that she would stay at Tabor so she could receive treatment in Massachusetts and that she wouldn’t be our technical advisor, but that would not stop her from being in our lives. And so this year, Ms. Wright gathered us together for advisory meetings and was constantly making time for us despite her own busy schedule. She has so much care to give and I have been very lucky to receive it.
Ms. Wright, you handle all of life’s challenges with grace. You inspire me everyday to push myself to reach my full potential. You remind me to surround myself with people who love me and wish the best for me. You represent the core principles of teaching in their purest form. You commit yourself to your students because you truly care about our success. Wherever your journey takes you next, we all wish you the best of luck and we know that we will always have you with us. And remember, the bird crows at first light.