In my office hangs a banner which I cherish. It has so many levels of significance to me. On the sentimental level, it hung in the office of my dear friend, a mentor-colleague who had served as Head of School when I was a Sacred Heart student. It also offers a daily reminder to me of the internationality of Sacred Heart education and the Society of the Sacred Heart…that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. On a personal level it reminds me of a meeting when I allowed my mind to wander into the image…and got caught!
Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! The Academy has come back to life with the return of little feet, excited voices and smiling students. It is so good to welcome you home!
When I was a child, I loved the start of the school year. I loved all the school supplies (I still do), going to get uniforms and the excitement of being in a new grade level. As I grew older, back-to-school held the fun of reconnecting with friends, having a locker to decorate as my ‘home base’ and the start of my soccer season. When I was a teacher, back-to-school translated into reconnecting with colleagues, sharing stories of vacations and conferences, and the exchange of new ideas those professional development opportunities afforded.
The middle school years are a special time in the life of a child. It is a time in their development when they are old enough to enjoy some independence while at the same time they are still fully provided for and protected by their family. It is a critical developmental period when patterns of behavior are established and confirmed.
This afternoon I sat with Mrs. Renken and reviewed the academic activities of our students as we begin Trimester 3. Is it wrong for me to say I would love to be a student in the Second Class as they are currently learning about whales? Our students are engaging in a cross-curricular unit of study that includes reading, measurement, art, research and presentation skills. I am excited to visit the South Wing corridor when they outline the lengths of the various species of whales in order to visualize and gain a better understanding of the actual size of these massive sea creatures.
I will admit…I am a bit sleep deprived these days. You see, I love the Winter Olympics! Since the Opening Ceremonies, I have been drawn to watch the events of the day in Pyeongchang. I attribute this compulsion to years spent at the ice rink as a child, skating competitions in Lake Placid (site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics) and a passion for political history associated with the Modern Olympic Games. Toss in a deep appreciation of John Williams’s Olympic Fanfare and Theme, the pristine beauty associated with the settings of the Winter Games and the indelible childhood memory of Vinko Bogataj’s epic ‘agony of defeat’ fall that opened each episode of ABC’s Wide World of Sports and you have the makings of a grown up Winter Olympic Games junkie.