Last summer I was able to do something I never thoughtI would have the opportunity to do: I hiked up a mountain. I was able to do so because I was in the state of Vermont (for the first time) attending a family member’s wedding. The wedding was taking place at a ski lodge in the town of Stowe. All guests had to ride gondola cars to reach the site. When I awoke the morning of the wedding, I noticed that a winding mountain road was very close to my room at the inn. My father and I decided to take a morning walk. Neither of us had in mind to climb the mountain; we just wanted to walk on a beautiful Vermont morning. I suggested we head up the trail. Along the way, we saw God’s handiwork at its finest. We drank cool, clean water from mountain springs. We even happened upon a quaint little church nestled in the mountain. To my great delight and surprise, we ended up reaching the top. It was not always easy climbing. We dealt with steep and winding pitches and some slippery patches of land. The hard work, though, was worth every step and every labored breath. That hike taught me several things. One was that my 74year old father is in better shape than anyone I know. His commitment to health reminded me of how important it is to take good care of our bodies. Since that time I have taken up the practice of yoga. It not only strengthens the body, but it also sharpens the mind. This year my students will benefit from using their healthy minds and bodies to reach their educational goals. That hike up the mountain one year ago continues to yield positive benefits in my life. I welcome each of you to a new year, a new adventure.