Heronfield Academy, an independent middle school for sixth, seventh and eighth graders, is celebrating its tenth year. Nine years ago, Heronfield was founded on its current property in Hampton Falls. At that time the school was renting its school buildings. In March of 2015, the school purchased the 12 acre property and is thrilled to have a permanent home in Hampton Falls. The beauty of the setting is part of what makes it such a special place. The new Bridget Marley Jenkins Field is a wonderful addition to the school program which includes daily physical education as part of the school’s core curriculum. Students, faculty, parents, alumni, grandparents, Trustees, all gave to the fund to create the field. Heronfield would like to give a special thank to the following Sponsors of the creation of the field: Anthem, Mark Harrison, alumni parent, Anna Grace and Paul Holloway, alumni grandparents, and McLane Middleton. More information on the Bridget Marley Jenkins Fund can be found on the school’s website at www.heronfieldacademy.org.
One seventh grader captured the dedication in a beautiful way:
When I walked into school on Thursday, I didn’t really know what that morning was going to be about, I didn’t even know who Bridget Jenkins was. All I knew was that we were getting a new field and I was excited. As the crowd gathered on the benches and the choir and I stood in front of them in all black, I’m pretty sure nervous butterflies were floating all around us. When we were ready to perform for real and few seats were left in the audience, we started to sing and I saw Ms. Jenkins (Bridget’s sister-in-law), her face red with tears. It was at this moment that I realized this morning was not about me getting a new field, it was about the Jenkins’ family. Looking at Ms. Jenkins and the people around her, I felt compelled to cry myself but I then remembered I better get to the singing part! As the final words of You Raise Me Up rang in my head, relief came out of me and I took a seat. As the speeches were being read about what a great person Bridget Jenkins was, I understood, although I had never met her, what a wonderful part of the community she must have been and how much of a loss this really was to everyone sitting on the benches right then.
It was now time for the moment I had long been waiting for since the first day I saw the large rolls of sod sitting in our “field” and the huge rectangular blue object plopped in front of it. We were now walking out onto the field. The sun glistened the fresh dew that had perched on the grass the night before, giving the field a sparkling glare. I took my time transitioning from the rough hay to the smooth, flat surface that is now, and will be for a long time, our field. As a small community of students circled around the beautiful Heronfield logo painted in the center of the field, I thought to myself about all the wonderful memories that will be created, from scoring a game winning goal, to crossing the half field line with a purple plastic frog bouncing around in my hand.
As I place my arms around my friends’ shoulders to take the big school picture, I felt a presence with us other than the students, family and friends of the Jenkins. As I slowly crept my way back towards the school, trying to spend every last second I could on this fabulous field, I felt more butterflies fluttering around me, but this time, they were no longer scared, now they were free and happy. And once the sun heated my black shirt and the cool calm breeze blew, pushing me forward, I knew that Bridget was there guiding us.