Finding Our Way

By Hamayail Ansari
“Life isn’t about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.”
~George Bernard Shaw
Do you remember the first time you went to school in kindergarten? You were cautious, nervously clutching the straps of your Scooby-Doo backpack, but most of all, you felt lost. It wasn’t until a larger hand clasped your miniature ones, and led you to exactly where you needed to be, that you felt safely welcomed into this new world. And now, looking back, the first day of high school went a little like the first day of kindergarten. Whether we were freshmen confusing A-Wing and B-Wing for what we declared was absolutely the last time, or seniors receiving our diplomas on graduation day, Mr. Dahmen had always been the hand that led us to where we needed to be, and helped us with how we needed to get there. Ms. Cynthia Kellor, a teacher at JMM, recalls her first impression of this influential man, smiling while describing his friendliness, his resonating voice, and just his simple presence that put you at ease and comfort while speaking with him. Mr. Dahmen saw the good and promise in people, acknowledging
their faults as well, but focusing on what they had the potential to do. Just like any good coach, he knew when to push and be there [for someone], but he also knew when to pull back and let you find your way, says Ms. Kellor. His sense of humor was beyond what anyone would believe for a high school principal
and all it takes is a remembrance of goofy sunglasses and a blonde wig to get Ms. Kellor grinning from ear to ear. Taking away from all of it though, Ms. Kellor believes thatMr. Dahmen’s ability to make connections with everyone was truly unique . When he greeted new acquaintances as if they were old friends, more than anything, it made him stand out to us from the rest. Making each and every person feel and know that they belonged and were highly valued, whether it was a teacher, a friend, a student, or alumni, was how Mr. Dahmen made us Spartans into a family. We are JMM.

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