Head of School Jody Soja presented a Mountain Card to Laila Kennedy on Friday, December 1. The Mountain Card is the school’s highest formal accolade and recognizes individuals who go above and beyond our expectations. Below are the words that Mrs. Soja read at Morning Meeting.
It is impossible to quantify traits such as “good cheer” and “positivity,” but it is quite clear when they are in such abundance that their reserves seem endless and they know no bounds. Laila Kennedy, in her everyday existence, typifies these traits, not simply because of what she does, but because of who she is.
“Hi Laila!” You’ll often see and hear classmates and teachers alike returning her warm smile and kind greetings in the hall. Even her name itself rolls off the tongue in a pleasing way, the aural manifestation of her friendliness. But Laila’s affability is not without depth. In rehearsals for the drama production, she provides a role model for peers, and will jump (sometimes literally!) to find a solution to a challenge. In classes, she leads discussion and initiates productive conversations with both students and faculty. Even in the athletic venues, she participates and engages to the fullest, regardless of whether she is an expert or a newcomer to a sport, and she is willing to buck trends and stereotypes by taking the road less traveled by.
Perhaps most remarkable about Laila’s presence in our community is the consistency and endurance that she has shown. Ever since her time in the middle school division, her compassion and empathy have not wavered. She has capacity only for unadulterated kindness, and she never seeks personal gain from her efforts to brighten the days of others. Her 1000-watt grin, which is guaranteed to elicit a smile in return from anyone lucky enough to catch a glimpse, has genuine compassion, benevolence, and and magnanimousness behind it. It is for these reasons that the Indian Mountain School community is delighted to award Laila Kennedy its highest honor: The Mountain Card.