From the Heart, Community Voices

Community Voices

From the Heart

August 25, 2022

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This week’s From the Heart author is Shawn Leight, Board Chair.

Dear Academy Families and Friends,

Last week our new Head of School, Mr. Tim Horner, said that he was expanding the voice of Thursday Mail by featuring students, parents, faculty, staff, trustees, and alums. This week I am kicking off this new tradition!

I was thrilled and humbled when asked to serve as an Academy Trustee and later Board Chair. Over 14 years as an Academy parent, I have experienced the tremendous good that this school does for our children, our families, and our greater community. When we were recruiting Tim, he asked me, “What is the Academy’s ‘secret sauce’?” The answer is, and always has been, about the children. It is not just that Academy students are well prepared to thrive in high school; they graduate from the Academy knowing, and being comfortable with, who they are. They are committed to making a positive difference in the world. Academy kids are truly something special.

I have had the great privilege to watch the growth of many Academy kids over the years, including three of my own (Matthew ’18, Emily ’20, and Bethany ’23). These kids amaze me. Matthew’s class (2018) graduated from high school with three National Merit Scholar Finalists and the CBC Valedictorian. Our graduates’ accomplishments are truly amazing.

Our teachers play a central role in this development. They are top-notch educators, guided by the Sacred Heart mission so clearly expressed in the Goals and Criteria and more than 200 years of tradition. Our teachers live our mission to “educate and inspire the heart and mind of each child to become a courageous and confident leader who knows and loves God, and who reveals that love by serving others.”

Tim and I both started our new roles in the leadership of the school on July 1, and I am excited for our future. While the Academy has consistently evolved to meet the needs of a changing world during its 204-year history, it has always held true to its core values

So, how do we prepare for the world that will continue to change over the next 200 years? The answer is first in staying true to who we are by living the Goals and Criteria in the context of the world around us. It is by celebrating and nurturing our expansive Sacred Heart community of RSCJ, current and past families, and alums. It is serving our greater community. It is through diligence and innovation in our management of programs to ensure the Sacred Heart mission for generations to come.

I look forward to continuing this incredible journey with all of you.

In humble service,
— Shawn Leight