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Closing in on the end . . .

May 29, 2019
By Seth Yocum- Head of School

Closing in on the end, and looking forward to where we begin…

With the closing of my first year as the Head of St. Paul’s School on the horizon, I am truly amazed with the support, generosity, and commitment of our St. Paul’s School community.  For starters, it’s hard for me to express the level of gratitude I feel for our generous donors who have provided the financial spark to push us forward in our deep investigation of our educational vision.  There were many who worried that fundraising for teacher professional development and the integration of inquiry centered and project based curriculum and pedagogy might not be tangible enough to inspire the level of fundraising that we’ve enjoyed over the past few years.  But our community proved it otherwise. Without question, there is no greater asset in our school than our teachers, and no greater tool than their curriculum and the classroom practices in which they engage. Investing here is truly an investment in our school’s future, and our St. Paul’s School community responded to this message unmistakably.  Truely, I am humbled.

And it is with this humility and respect for your investment that I take the planning of our future professional development opportunities and curricular and pedagogical growth with such gravity.  I must admit, there is a temptation to excitedly steps forward and hastily make plans for our educational growth, but prudence suggests otherwise. At this point, instead of rushing forward, I think the next best move is to dig in deeply to where our practice is now.  We need to better understand and articulate how our current practices promote our mission’s promise, and where our current commitments might fall short, so that we can invest our hard earned money in ways that will benefit our educational staff and students most efficiently and effectively.  With that said, I want to assure you that these donation dollars will be invested wisely and transparently, and will be predicated on the true needs of our school, even if that is at a slow and steady pace.

There are other areas of community strength that deserved to be recognized in kind.  I certainly have been impressed with the continued outpouring of parental support I see on a weekly basis.  I would like to express a debt of gratitude to all of the parents who have dedicated the time, energy, money, and delicious treats so that our Snack Shack and lunch service remains a vibrant part of our school’s life.   I would like to express a collective thank you to Brandon Ford Construction, who has donated time, energy, and money to see the fence project through to completion, and the replacement of the exterior doors on the 100 building.  In truth, there are so many others that are worth mentioning, and any effort to do so will likely run the disastrous risk of excluding someone pivotal to our success. But that is all to say that of the myriad blessings in being a part of the St. Paul’s School community, the commitment and generosity of our parents are truly one of a kind.  Thank you.

As we close this year, I hope you all know how committed I am to see our school and our community into the future.  There is still a lot of work to do, but the outpouring of community support that I’ve received this year proves to me that we have the community and the backing to accomplish anything to which we put our hearts, minds, and hands.  It would be disingenuous of me to say that I’m not looking forward to a well earned rest here in the coming months. Still, I am eager to get back to work this next fall, and to continue to build St. Paul’s School into the best school that we can be.  Of course, this will only be accomplished through the support of the most generous and dedicated families in the central valley.

Until the fall.