As we begin our last trimester and work to complete the enrollment process for the coming school year, I often take this opportunity to have my own self-reflection on the question, “Why St. Michael’s?” It is a valid question, regardless of being an administrator, a teacher, a parent, or a student.
Five years ago, I stepped onto the campus of St. Michael’s School for the first time. I did so initially with a bit of skepticism. Why in the world would I want to leave Virginia to head so far away to the desert Southwest? What could possibly convince us to stay? It didn’t take long to have my initial answer, and to see the list of convincing reasons grow. St. Michael’s, first and foremost, is a fantastic educational institution. We educate children well. When I speak with our graduates, I am sometimes speechless at their poise, articulation, passion, vision, and devotion to St. Michael’s. They credit our school for preparing them well, and it is this school that laid the foundation for their high school success. On another level, beyond this academic foundation, is the profound effect St. Michael’s has on the nourishment of a sound moral compass in our students. In partnership with parents, our students leave us with a deep sense of integrity; a knowledge of right and wrong; a desire to display kindness and compassion, perseverance and tenacity; and a growing resilience to keep trying, even when goals are not initially achieved. Our students learn that they are surrounded by adults and friends who are there to support them and cheer them on, even when the going seems a bit tough.
What I saw five years ago still holds true. This is a community of people, young and old, who sense the magic of this campus and know that being a member of this community is a transformational experience. And what makes this possible? Why, it’s the community and the people within it. It’s the parents, the teachers, the administrators, and, most importantly, the students who make the biggest difference. That, in and of itself, made St. Michael’s the place for me and a place that I wanted to be a part of. Although our campus is beautiful and our buildings represent the aesthetics of the desert Southwest, it is the people and the intrinsic values nurtured here that set this school apart. So, why St. Michael’s? I think the better question is, “Why not St. Michael’s?” Here we educate children in mind, body, and spirit. Here, it is about scholarship, leadership, and friendship. We don’t always take the easy road, but we do prepare our students for life, even when the road itself is not easy. This is why I came. This is why our alumni return. This is why I believe in the work we do. At the end of the day, it is always about the children.
LOVE of READING WEEK is well on its way!
Love of Reading Week kicked off on Monday and continues through Friday. This year’s theme is “It’s a Small World.” Reading opens up doors to other worlds, whether it be other countries, cultures, or fantasy worlds. Like the Disneyland ride, we want to celebrate and show respect for and kindness toward all cultures and backgrounds.
Several events have already happened, with more throughout the week. A few reminders:
Used Book Drive: Please donate your gently used books to benefit the Angel Heart Pajama Project, a 501©(3) non-profit organization that provides new pajamas and books to children in need–those who are homeless or are in foster care or shelters. Look for donation boxes around campus.
The Classroom Door Decorating Contest is under way. Each class may decorate its classroom door in furtherance of the theme “It’s A Small World.” Doors will be judged on Friday, and the top three winners will receive Eegee’s for the whole class.
Friday is Pajama and Cookie Day for grades K-3. Books, pajamas, and cookies – what a great way to end the week for the K-3 kiddos!
Ask your kids about the guest speakers on campus this week. More information on the speakers/authors with links to their books will be in next week’s Eagle blog. Stay tuned.
If you have any questions, please contact the Love of Reading Week Chair, Sherry Downer, at (520) 275-1877 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCHOLASTIC BOOK FAIR Has Started
Come join the fun at the Happy Camper Book Fair! The fair started today, Wednesday, March 8, and runs through Friday, March 10. We will be open each day at 7:30 a.m., closing Wednesday and Thursday at 5 p.m. and Friday at 4 p.m. We will have a few different raffles and giveaways. Stop on by for S’more fun with books! If you are interested and able to volunteer, there are still a few open spots. Please contact Susie at email@example.com.
Thank You to Pancake Lunch Volunteers!
Last week’s Mardi Gras Pancake Lunch offered yet another fun-filled and festive event. Thank you to the volunteers who helped make it a success, including Susie Huerta, Julia Rebert, Sarah Hoover, Doyace Wilson, Ruben Rojas, Denise Blair, Holly Merrin, Megan Brown, Trevor James, Alisa Reed, Breanne Tirrito, Amy Petrow, and Kari Sandford. And many thanks to chef Andy Bruno and his co-chef for cooking up hundreds of pancakes!
Next SMA Meeting:
The March SMA Meeting will be held next Wednesday, March 15, at 8:05 a.m. in the new Multi-Purpose Room. All are welcome, and we’d love for you to join in.
And we’re off! The third and final trimester of the school year has begun. It never ceases to amaze me that we arrive at this point, and suddenly the end of the year seems much too close. There is so much left to do and a finite amount of time in which to accomplish it. In Chapel on Monday, I reminded our students that, using a baseball analogy, we are on third base and rounding the corner toward home plate. Rather than walk into home, why not run in, sliding across the plate and exclaiming, “Wow! That was an amazing year!” Our students work hard throughout the year. They play hard as well and often stretch themselves not only to try something new but work toward mastery in the process. It’s a delicate balance, trying to achieve goals while being mindful of the importance of growth and learning through the process.
All of us have difficulties at times finding that right balance. Being the often driven person that I am, I can hold myself to impossible standards. I am well aware that many of our students do as well. Striving to have a growth mindset rather than one that is fixed, however, enables me to allow for flexibility and acceptance of myself along the way. It’s not a matter of settling for something less. Rather, I can strive to do my best, learning and growing along the way, setting realistic goals, even at my more senior age. That’s the power of “yet.” It’s not so important what we achieve in the end, but rather what is being accomplished and learned in the process along the way. For our students, when they figuratively slide into home base at the end of the school year, my hope is that we can help them to recognize how far they have come, being proud of what they learned in the process, knowing that they have grown tremendously. So off we go, rounding third base. As we complete the year, may we all celebrate a year well lived with much progress achieved along the way.
Head of School
The annual St. Michael’s Science Fair, held the week just prior to our Rodeo Break, was a resounding success! The terrific efforts of our students were on display in the Student Center, and our budding scientists presented their results during poster sessions which were held at the STEM Festival. It was truly wonderful to see the scientific process in action across a diverse and creative set of investigations.
There will be a summer camp on the St. Michael’s campus for grades K-3. Here is the link for the flyer: Discover, Esplore, Create Camp
LOVE of READING WEEK
March 6 through March 10 is Love of Reading Week! This year’s theme is “It’s a Small World.” Reading opens up doors to other worlds, whether it be other countries, cultures, or fantasy worlds. As with the Disneyland ride, we want to celebrate and show respect for and kindness toward all cultures and backgrounds.