On Friday of last week, our middle school students, parent-volunteers, and faculty piled into cars, SUVs, and vans to head out into the Tucson community for a day of service. With more than one hundred students working at six different agency locations for most of the day, their service did make a difference in the lives of others, including some furry friends. As we have talked about the work that Martin Luther King, Jr. did on behalf of others by quietly preaching peace, justice, and equality for all people, it is important that our students learn early that no matter how big or small, acts of kindness and compassion on behalf of others do make a difference.
In the disturbing climate found in our country today, it seems even more critical for our schools to be alternative voices to the negative rhetoric that we continue to hear. Certainly, the alarming amount of hatred and degrading of so many people lies in direct contrast to the kindness and compassion we expect of our students in relation to others. Recently, when Episcopal schools were asked what big issues are being faced by our schools, diversity, polarization, and simply how we get along with each other appeared very high on the list. It is critically important in our schools that we recommit ourselves to the establishment of, and adherence to, a sound moral compass. We lead by example. We must have the courage to be the alternative voice. This goes beyond any party affiliation. We need to model for our children, who are growing up in a polarized society, that there is a better way. It begins by showing respect for everyone, regardless of differences. As we live into the baptismal covenant, at St. Michael’s we will continue to strive for justice and peace among all people while respecting the dignity of every human being. This is the message we continually say in various ways at St. Michael’s. This past week, our students carried that message beyond our adobe walls into the Tucson community. In doing so, they gave witness to those who saw them that even children can help to change the world.
Head of School
Admissions season is well under way. Do you have a child that will be entering Kindergarten next year? Applications are now being accepted for the 2018-2019 school year. We are currently scheduling screenings for rising Kindergarten students on February 5, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. Admissions applications are available on the St. Michael’s website and may be submitted online. Please contact Matt Teller, Director of Enrollment Management, for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, if you have friends or neighbors who are looking at education options for next year, please encourage them to join us for our Admissions Open House this Saturday, January 20, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet some teachers, tour the campus, and submit an application for admissions.
Our school musical this year is The Lion King!
Performance dates are January 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. and January 28 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for kids fourteen years and younger. Please get your tickets online at www.stmichael.net/musical
or buy tickets at the ticket table set up in front of the Music Room before and after school. You can use cash, credit card, or check.
Spread the word! It is one of the best ways to bring guests to our beautiful campus and enjoy our talented kids.
On December 17, Jolene Nichols, a former student from St. Michael’s, died following an extended illness related to Cystic Fibrosis. Jolene’s parents, Kevin and Anna Nichols, have extended an invitation to the community to join them in a celebration of Jolene’s life on Saturday, January 20, at 5:00 p.m. at Himmel Park on “The Big Hill.” Bring a chair or a blanket. St. Michael’s was blessed to have Jolene and her family in our community for a short time. We will always consider her one of our St. Michael’s eagles. Her courage and positive outlook will continue to serve as an inspiration to others.
Middle School Sports
Thursday, 1/18 – Pusch Ridge @ SM 4:00 p.m.
Friday, 1/19 – SM @ Desert Chrsitian 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 1/24 – SM @ Academy of Tucson 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, 1/25 – Desert Christian @ SM 4:00 p.m.
Playoffs for soccer will be 1/30, 2/1, and 2/2. Sites for these games will be announced once the seeding for the playoffs is set.
The Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball season is just around the corner. A sign-up sheet has been posted outside of the Athletic Office. Any middle school student interested in playing should sign up. Practices will likely start the second week of February. We are still determing the exact details, as we are working around Science Fair and Rodeo Break. More details on the first practices will be announced soon. Once the season is under way, practices will typically run Monday through Friday from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the Student Center.
Our last practice for our winter session will be tomorrow (1/18). I will bring in a treat for the kids, and we will have both volleyball and basketball available for the kids to play.
Our spring season of intramurals will be track. More specifics on the start date and practice days will be announced soon.
Maci Bernier (eighth grade) was selected for the Olympic Development Soccer Team. Maci was the only girl selected from the Tucson area for the first team. Her squad, representing Arizona, played other western states in a tournament last week. The Arizona team finished in the semi-finals. Congratulations, Maci!
Students will be bringing home their packets today with a pledge sheet and information on how the Math-a-thon works. Start getting pledges now! The Math-a-thon test is January 29th. Pledge money is due February 14th. Winners will announced on February 26th. Help us meet our goal of $15,000 to support our school’s technology programs.
We will have individual prizes as well as the following all-school prizes:
$12,000 – $13,499: The whole school will get free dress (date to be determined).
$13,500 – $14,999: In addition to free dress, the whole school will have an Eegee’s party.
$15,000 or more: In addition to free dress and Eegee’s, the first-place winners in each courtyard will get to color the hair of Ms. Hart, Ms. Hayward, and Mrs. Breault at All-School Chapel on February 26th.
Remember this year you can donate online for the Math-a-thon. Please share this link with out-of-town family and friends:
Thank you, Sabino Equestrian Center, for sponsoring Coffee Corner last Friday. It was a great turn-out!
When I think about the many values that come from a St. Michael’s education, one is the validation our students receive from the faculty and staff. This often comes from the listening ears and wisdom shared throughout the school day. It is a common sight to see a teacher or a staff member engaged in conversation with a student or a small group. It may be at a lunch table or in a courtyard exchange; a morning greeting at the door or a casual encounter in a hallway. Not only do we ask our students to listen well, but adults do the same too.
Wisdom and knowledge come to us in many ways. As human beings, we seek validation and guidance from friends, colleagues, and family who listen and help us gain deeper understanding. In our school community, students gain knowledge and wisdom from the faculty in the classroom. As an administrator, I have also found, however, that some of the best wisdom I receive comes from the lips of children. At St. Michael’s, we work hard to develop trust among members of our community, which includes our students. I value the conversations I have with students, whether long or short. It may be simply eye contact combined with a smile, a hug, or a personal greeting, or it may be through an extended conversation that asks for a fresh perspective and new idea. Meetings, agendas, and lesson plans are important, but time spent talking and listening well to students most often trumps those things.
When St. Michael’s students graduate, there is excitement and enthusiasm for the exciting road ahead in high school. At the same time, there is a reluctance to leave the security and comfort of our “eagle nest.” Relationships and friendships built, whether in one year or in nine years, last a lifetime and leave a lasting impression. In the early fall one year, I saw a recent graduate from St. Michael’s School. This young man commented to me, following an enthusiastic hug, “Please tell all of the teachers hello and that I really miss them.” He left the nest of St. Michael’s prepared for the future, confident in his abilities, and validated as a person. Moreover, it was all because we listened, cared, shared our collective wisdom, and learned from one another along the road. That is one value of this education. It’s priceless, and it truly lasts a lifetime.
Head of School