Last Spring, as I bid farewell to our graduating seniors at Buckley, I shared with them the importance of appreciating that their lives are colorful threads, woven into a tapestry of the human experience, across time. I encouraged them to spend considerable effort in shaping a citizenship experience that would serve our world; this, after all, being the essential attribute of leadership.
In many ways, this past Spring for me was my symbolic transition away from Buckley, a school that I have thoroughly enjoyed serving for five years, to St. James’ Episcopal School. Recently, I reflected on our incoming new students at St. James’, and their families, who I had the privilege of getting to know a bit on this past Thursday evening at the New Parent Reception.
Who will these little folks become over the next several years at St. James’? When they are applying for middle school, will they be emergent creative writers? Curious scientists? Confident mathematicians? Of course, most importantly, I hope that they will leave the St. James’ community with confidence, and a sense that they had spent the last several years nurtured, heard, and affirmed by the faculty and community as they leave one of the strongest elementary education programs in the city.
As I begin my transition to St. James’, I have had the opportunity to begin to meet with senior staff, and as that process continues, I am also looking forward to getting to know faculty, staff, and families over the summer and fall. I know first hand, and have heard from many others, what a welcoming and engaged parent community exists at St. James’. I feel honored to be a part of this special place. An essential priority for me is to also spend considerable time with our rising sixth graders and their families as I prepare to advocate for and support them in the application process to Los Angeles-area middle schools.
One of my favorite activities with our lower school students at Buckley is to read aloud – and I hope that your families are spending time reading this summer in addition to much deserved and fun vacations – I will be asking students what their favorite books are when we start in the fall – and we will have a Head's Book Club – one for families and another for our students (with the support of some amazing faculty members). I hope that you will get involved!