When I heard the phrase “No hill too high for a climber” three or four years ago, it resonated. Not that I am a mountain climber, but because I thought it was a very appropriate metaphor for the type of energy and attitude we seek to develop in our students. Yes, we want to develop lifelong learners, individuals with highly-developed academic skills—readers, writers, scientists, mathematicians and artists—but just as importantly, we want our students to be “doers,” to believe in themselves and demonstrate a determination and resilience that empowers them to make a difference—for themselves and others.
Moving forward, willingly taking on challenges, trying, trying and trying again, all describe those students, or people, we hope emerge from their North Shore experience. For we all know that determination, resilience and resourcefulness enable individuals to live fulfilling and meaningful lives.
I am a great believer in the power of modeling; the impact that role models—whether they be parents, teachers, coaches or older students—have in shaping the development of our students. Jim Lumberg, father of Hannah ’15 and Sarah ’17, husband of Traci and our current Board Chair, left town on March 26 to begin a two-month expedition to climb Mt. Everest. Jim is the latest in a number of outstanding Chairs I have been extremely fortunate to partner with—people who have taught me, challenged me, encouraged me to be my best and who led in ways that have contributed significantly to the School.
His trek is one more way he is making a difference for me and for North Shore. There couldn’t be a better example of “no hill too high for a climber.” Jim is leading by example by taking on the world’s highest peak—pushing himself to extremes both physically and emotionally. If we want to develop “climbers,” we need models like Jim to help us understand and believe in the importance of practicing physical and emotional challenges.
Thanks Jim, for inspiring all of us at North Shore, for being a role model, helping us develop “climbers” and developing an understanding that we need to believe in and push ourselves.
Follow Jim’s expedition to Mt. Everest on his blog at jameslumberg.com.
North Shore Country Day School is a private, college-prep school for high school, middle school and elementary school students in Winnetka, IL, a suburb of Chicago.