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By Evan Harris, Judson Senior
As a student at Judson International School since the first grade, I have never dreaded the phrase “Back to School.” Because Judson has always been like a family to me, starting school feels more like returning home. Back to School Picnic, held the day before school starts, is what sets the tone for the new school year. I get to see the friends I’ve missed all summer at the perfect summer’s-end event. Everyone is invited- students, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins- including all who wish to check out the school and get a feel for the Judson community. Few schools can compete with Judson’s dedication to building the best community possible for the children. Judson is not a faceless organization; the school cares about building relationships.
Principal Diana Bjoraker has received very positive feedback for the picnic over the years. She says most of the students’ families attend, and it’s wonderful for the new students and their families to be welcomed by everyone. Students enjoy seeing their classrooms and classmates for the year, while parents appreciate getting to know the teachers, staff and each other in such a relaxed, personable atmosphere. Many former students also come back for the picnic to re-connect with old friends, faculty, and see the new changes at the school. This year, parents and students will be excited to see Judson’s newly renovated computer lab (I’ve had a peek in there and it looks fantastic), remodeled front office, and the new high school building.
Another impressive aspect about this pot luck event is the array of international cuisines the families bring. I have seen dishes like Kim Bop from Korea, Chicken Tikka Masala from India, Yorkshire pudding from England, and dumplings from China make up some of the spread. This is reflective of the diverse presence we have at Judson. Judson is unique because about 30% of the students have lived overseas at some point in their lives. Last year, we had ten different countries represented in our student body. The students bring wealth of experiences and culture to our community and this makes its learning environment rich and interesting.
This picnic is so much more than just a school formality—it’s a family reunion. Only this family keeps growing, and welcomes new additions with open arms each year. I can’t wait! So why not hang out with us at the beautiful Judson campus in North Pasadena, at 6:00 p.m. on August 25th?
For more information visit Judson’s website at: www.judsonschool.org or call 626.398.2474
Judson International School
1610 E. Elizabeth Street
Pasadena CA 91104