1 June 2023
Dear ASW Community, 
Please accept my heartfelt congratulations for successfully completing – or almost completing – another academic year!  I join ASW Director Jon Zurfluh, High School Principal Michael Sheehan, and all the ASW parents, friends, and guardians to celebrate our newest crop of high school graduates.  Kudos to all of you for reaching this milestone. I wish you success on whatever is next for you.  It might not always be easy, but ASW prepared you well for what’s to come.  Congratulations also to those in earlier grades who have made it one step closer to your own graduation.
Speaking of Director Zurfluh, I want to also thank him for another year of outstanding leadership.  In partnership with Jon, I also acknowledge the tremendous faculty and staff at ASW for their work in moving our kids out of the COVID pandemic and back to our new normal and laying the groundwork (pun intended) for the Building the Future project.  Part of that support – including the big strategic decisions that were made this year – comes from the ASW Board of Trustees.  Please join me in thanking outgoing Chair Katharine (Kay) LaBanca, who has done a tremendous job over the previous two years in this role.  I also would like to acknowledge this year’s departing Board members Ann Gabrielson, Heather Rogers, Jim Wolfe, Anna Hutten-Czapska, Peter Jambor, and Amila de Saram-Larssen for their incredible contributions.  We’re thrilled to welcome incoming Chair Sarah Kyle, Embassy representatives Kurt Holmgren and John Nordlander, as well as Eric Kasik, Stefka Elincheva, Karla Walsworth, and Olga Markiewicz-Puslecka.  
I am humbled and honored to be associated with a school community that so fully embraced and enveloped Kyiv’s Pechersk School International, PSI, into our family.  While the formal agreement between ASW and PSI has been extended, I wish the PSI students and faculty a safe and stable transition back to its campus in Kyiv in August.  I know some PSI students will remain at ASW until they are able to return, and, let me assure you, the welcome mat is always out.  
ASW’s inclusion of PSI also extends to the deep work that ASW has done in embracing diversity and difference.  In our world, creating an environment that is affirming, safe, and welcoming is a cornerstone of the ASW identity.  I am delighted ASW was involved in so many engagements to promote equality throughout the year.  And I speak from experience when I note that ASW is ahead of the region in championing the universal rights of all.  Carry that with you into the next chapter and the next academic year.  I know that with clear goals and open communication, we will continue to lead in this area as a close community.
This is important as we enter Pride month, where we celebrate and uplift the LGBTQI+ community.  Mark your calendars for Warsaw’s Equality Parade on June 17.  I invite all in the ASW community who are interested to join me – along with members of the U.S. Embassy staff and the broader diplomatic community – to celebrate progress and recognize the resilience and determination of those who defend equality and human rights for everyone.  My message from President Biden, when I came to Poland, was and remains: “America embraces equality.”
 Looking forward, I know that ASW will be celebrating its 70th anniversary next year.  I am eager to join the events you will be hosting throughout the 2023-2024 academic year to mark the occasion.  It continues to be a privilege to be an ASW parent and serve as the honorary chair of the Board of Trustees.  This is an amazing community with a meaningful mission and vision.  In everything we do, ASW and its students, faculty, and staff are changing the world for the better.  Let’s work to extend ASW’s long-standing 70-year tradition of success and excellence long into the future.