What an amazing first day back to school. It was an honor to witness the incredible atmosphere at drop off this morning -- families lining up to take “first day of school” pictures and supporting the School with their purchase of logoed “swag,” the army of parent volunteers assuring and engaging welcome, parents dropping kids off at classrooms with gifts for teachers in hand, and the amazing amount optimism about the coming year even amidst the challenges of our times. It speaks volumes about the strength and determination of our St. Paul’s School community.
Our day began with a chapel program for the ages. To say that this was an undertaking of immense effort might be the understatement of the day. The fact that this was the first “All School” chapel for the past 17 months showed. We certainly are sorely out of practice, and the sheer magnitude of students is something we haven’t seen in years. With that said, the energy in the chapel was electric, and Fr. Rob has such skill with our kids -- he was able to deftly navigate this opportunity and see to it that our students began their year with the appropriate joy in their hearts.
The Middle School began their engagement and community building days and will continue this work through tomorrow. As a school, we are taking extra efforts this year to establish a strong foundation for our middle school students. We learned a lot from them last year -- predominantly the value of connecting our students to the community. It was great seeing them working together on team building activities, laughing and having fun with their teachers and colleagues. They were outside for a majority of the day, so I’m sure they will sleep well this evening.
The truth is, I cannot accurately express the level of joy that was present on campus today. Each year I am humbled by the staff that I am able to work for, humbled by the families that care for the school so deeply, and humbled by the students who honestly make this a place of love and learning. Today was only day one, and it is difficult to know what tomorrow may bring. I am grateful for today, and hope it serves as the harbinger of hope for the year yet ahead.
All the best,