Dedham Country Day 5th grader Edna Etienne-Dupie experienced first-hand what it means to sit at the top of the Massachusetts judicial system. On Thursday, February 8, Edna spent the day with the Chief Justices of Massachusetts.
This special invitation was the result of a chain of events that took place earlier this fall around Mayor Marty Walsh’s bid for re-election and his subsequent victory rally. When Edna stepped up to the microphone at one of his neighborhood rallies, the Mayor was so taken with her eloquence and sense of purpose as a young person, that he invited her to speak at his anticipated victory rally. After her speech at the victory rally, Edna met the Chief Clerk of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Maura Doyle, who subsequently invited her to sit with all the Justices, offering her an opportunity to hear and discuss a current case before them.
Being civic minded and engaging fully in the world around her is part of Edna’s DNA. Her parents, Sarnia Etienne-Dupie and Dave Dupie, have instilled in their children the values and drive to speak up if they don’t agree with what is happening around them, telling them “the only way to see change is to get involved.” And that’s just what Edna did!
After watching her daughter step up to the microphone unplanned and unrehearsed on that day back in the fall, not only did Sarnia feel proud but also very grateful for all that Edna has gained in her school environment at Dedham Country Day. She gives a lot of credit to her teachers, believing that children grow and thrive when they are in a space where they are known as individuals and where their dreams and cares are well supported.
In a note to head of school Allison Webster, Sarnia wrote, “I am bursting with pride! Dave and I want to thank each of you for helping to cultivate such an intelligent, bold, and dynamic young lady. It does take a village to raise a child, and I can truly say that Edna is blessed to have an amazing team of talented and nurturing villagers on her side.”
During her visit with the Justices, Edna was given a personal tour of the court house, donned a robe from the robing room, called the first case from the bench, and had a private sit-down with Justice Kimberly Budd and Justice David Lowy. When they asked her where she went to school, Edna said proudly, “Dedham Country Day School; you know, I have all the best teachers.”
When we see a child like Edna exercising her voice, citizenship, and initiative outside the walls of DCD, we know our school’s mission is definitely working!