Elizabeth Crawford and her family have been a part of Highlands for the past 16 years. In just a couple of short weeks, her third and youngest child, Forrest, will walk across the stage and graduate from Highlands. Graduation, though, is not just about the students moving onto their next adventure – it’s about their families, too, who have been intertwined in the Highlands community for years. We asked Elizabeth to share her advice for Highlands families and what she’ll miss most about the place where her three children grew up.
Names and Ages of Children: Hunter (age: 20; class of 2016), Adelia (age: 17; class of 2019), and Forrest (age: 14; class of 2022)
What are your children up to now? Hunter is in his second year at NYU. Adelia is in 11th grade at Indian Springs, and, of course, Forrest is finishing his final year at Highlands
Favorite Highlands memory: There are so many wonderful memories that it’s impossible to choose just one. School plays, soccer games, Halloween parades, community meetings, even teacher conferences- I loved all the time I spent at Highlands over the last 16 years. I have to say that when Hunter and his classmates presented their Capstone projects, I almost burst with pride. It was so incredible to see these young people, who I’d watched grow up, stand before the school and speak with such poise about their passion projects. And then Adelia and her classmates blew me away with their Capstones. I’m pretty sure I laughed and cried several times that evening. And again, I was so excited to see what amazing young adults these kids had become. So, of course, I am pretty excited to see Forrest and his 8th grade’s Capstone presentations. I know it will be bittersweet but a beautiful memory.
Were you involved in the PA or in any other volunteer capacity? I think I volunteered in every way possible at Highlands. I had little jobs, like helping to set up for parents’ night and I had big jobs like painting the set for many of the school plays. I served as different PA officers and eventually led the PA as President. I chaired the Auction. I worked in the library, and I was a room parent for all my kids. I worked for the book fair, and I planned teacher hospitality lunches. I volunteered at Fall Festival, Spring Fling, and Field Day. Did I mention that I’ve had kids at Highlands for 16 years? You kind of end up doing it all.
What’s the best way for a new family to get involved? I encourage everyone to play a school sport if their child is interested. It’s a great team-building exercise and it allows for friendships to be formed outside of school. I also tell parents to volunteer at the school whenever they can. Nothing beats being present to observe your child and their peers, and you also bond with the other volunteers
For new parents starting out at Highlands, I encourage them to build friendships for themselves as well as their children. The Highlands community is full of smart, interesting people and they make excellent friends on the soccer field or on your front porch. Host play dates with the whole family. Invite the whole class plus parents to your child’s birthday party (in your front yard). Invite fellow parents out for “mom’s night out” or “dad’s”. These connections will stay with you - I still get together every year with other moms from my oldest child’s class despite our kids being in college now.
Three words that best describe Highlands: CURIOSITY, OPPORTUNITY, JOY
What will you miss most about Highlands? THE COMMUNITY- the students, the faculty and staff and the other families. I have such enormous respect for the teachers who have educated and cared for my children over these years, and I will sincerely miss their influence and guidance in our lives.