Nestled between the black iron fences on the corner of Waters and 63rd sits one of the most monumental places in my life. Some may think spending fourteen years in the same school would be monotonous or boring, but looking back now I realized that Calvary Day School is what I am going to miss most about home.
My name is Hayden Clark and I am in the Calvary Day School graduating class of 2020. On my first day of Kindergarten, I remember stepping into a room where I knew no one and becoming a “Can-do-Bear”. All of my hesitation and fear quickly began to fade when Mrs. Canady met me with a big smile and told me how excited she was to have me in her class.
My life at Calvary has been impacted by teachers and mentors who have not only helped develop me into a pivotal contributor in society but they have helped me grow spiritually. Each year Calvary dedicates a week for spiritual growth. Many students like myself look forward to this annual event called Spiritual Emphasis Week. During this, the entire high school focuses on faith rather than school work. Each year, I was invited into a small group with my peers and a teacher/coach would led a discussion about the daily message. I was able to open up to one football coach and several of my teammates which helped me going through school as an overwhelmed teenager. These relationships I developed are not like any others I have; they constantly pick me up when I was down and lead me on the right path. Without Coach Brantley and my best friends Kaleb, Jay, and Thomas; I would not be the man I am today.
Calvary provides guidance for post secondary planning by exposing students to different career paths during Career Day. During this time, Calvary graduates who own companies and work in Savannah’s professional community would come to the school and share their experiences. Each year I selected three different people to interview and most business men and women I spoke to said they would love to have Calvary graduates among their staff. The impact Calvary has on me supersedes the classroom. Graduates returning to encourage their fellow Cavaliers is a testament to their relationship with the school and its staff.
No matter what grade I was in at Calvary or what jersey I was wearing, I have always felt that I belonged. During high school one of the toughest decisions I had to make was to play tennis my senior year instead of playing baseball which I played for three years. I was terrified to tell my baseball coaches who had done so much for me. After discussing it with them the coaches told me that although baseball was not going to be the same, they we're going to support me no matter what. These were not empty words. This season, I was invited to sit in the dugout with the team at every game. I was continually asked how my tennis matches went. I thought I was going into a new section of my life alone, but when I looked back I was surrounded by the people I love.
Calvary Day School, thank you so much for the imprint you have made on my life! I am thankful for giving me a vision for the future and a family I will always have to come home to. You have been the one constant throughout my time as a student. While some on the outside may think school is just a building, Calvary was always more than that. It has been my home away from home and I don't think that is going to change.
I will always be a Cavalier! I look forward to coming back in September for homecoming as a Calvary alumni. Next stop...Anderson University!