Reflections at Morning Drop-Off

On the first day of school, Ash Vaidya '95 was at Pinewood's Upper Campus to see off his 7th-grade son, Aiden. Today, we're sharing Ash's reflections of his own first day at Pinewood and his pride at seeing his son become a Panther.

Ash as a junior in high school with his schoolmates circa 1994/1995

When my son, Aiden, chose to join Pinewood in 6th grade, I could not have been more happy. My wife and I chose Pinewood because we believe it provided the four things we value for our children – academics, extracurricular activities, leadership development, and a welcoming social environment. 

Pinewood is a special place for me as it was the first school I joined in the Fall of 1989 after my family immigrated from India in June 1989. It was a period of transition for me and my family and I recall feeling safe and in awe of what the school had to offer. As it turns out that during the six years that I was a student at Pinewood, I not only received the academic foundation I relied on to succeed in College and in my professional life but I also was able to participate in clubs and teams that made me truly feel a part of the Pinewood community.

Ash Vaidya '95 with his son, Aiden Vaidya '27

While I was a nervous 7th grader sitting in the passenger seat of my father’s sedan in August 1989 as I was being dropped off on my first day of 7th Grade at the Upper Campus, I found the EXACT opposite to be true for my son when I dropped him off for his. As I circled the parking lot of the Upper Campus two weeks ago, nearly 32 years after I had been dropped off by my father, I was driving a young man who was not only excited to see his friends but also couldn’t wait to start this new chapter of his life at Pinewood. I couldn’t have felt more proud or happy for him.