May 17

At this time of the year, when the days are full, classes are being completed, and final preparations are being made to close out the school year, the idea of striving for peacefulness seems out of reach and even comical. Many days feel anything but peaceful. And yet, as we talked about peacefulness in our Monday Chapel, students and teachers alike took a deep breath, perhaps wishing for this important virtue to be present in each of us. In the Benedictine way of living, a model for peace is offered (read more)

May 10

When I first joined the St. Michael’s community five years ago, I would take time during the summer days to wander the campus. I needed to find my way through the various courtyards. I wanted to become familiar with the environment that everyone spoke so highly of. What struck me was how peaceful the campus was. That continues to be an appropriate word to describe our unique environment. Yes, it can be noisy with more than 350 students and adults during the day, but the peacefulness remains. Peacefulness is the (read more)

April 26

We have reached the time of the year when it feels that everything has shifted into high gear. As we return from our Easter break, suddenly the end of the year is in plain view. There is so much left to do and so little time remaining. The temptation for some is simply to sit back and coast to the end. My encouragement to all of us, however, is a bit different. Let’s revisit the dependable baseball / softball analogy as a way to plan for a sweeping conclusion. For (read more)

April 5

Typically, when we talk about the value Stewardship, we focus on our responsibility to care for Mother Earth and her resources that we attempt to use wisely. The celebration of Earth Day later this month raises our understanding and appreciation for the environment and our natural resources that are necessary to sustain our planet. As we introduced this value in chapel this week, we considered not only the care of the earth resources but also the consideration of the care for each other. What better place to carry that out (read more)

March 29

As next week arrives, we will find our campus feeling a bit on the empty side. Our entire middle school departs over the weekend on long-anticipated class trips to Crow Canyon, Catalina Island, and Washington, D.C. Each of these trips complements our curriculum and will include lots of memories for our students. These are fabulous experiences and opportunities on many levels. On one level, lessons taught in the classroom will come to life through experiential learning. It’s one thing to read and study about cliff dwellers. Climbing to an actual (read more)

March 22

March Madness is upon us, and l would imagine that many folks are tuned in to NCAA basketball games, even if you are not normally a basketball fan. Tournament play, both at the conference level as well as national level, becomes exciting. Many of us adopt a new favorite team, and schools not normally in the spotlight become the potential Cinderella schools of the tournament. As a basketball fan, I admit to getting caught up in the school spirit that is seen on many levels. As an educator, I’m always (read more)

March 15

So much of what happens within a school day is about communication and how we relate to one another. From the time a student steps on campus and then into a classroom, the daily interaction between teachers and students begins. Our young Kindergarten students muster a great deal of courage on the first day of school as they move from spending a large percentage of their day with parents or caregivers to a new relationship with their classroom teacher. The many hats that a teacher will wear in the course (read more)

March 8

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 (read more)

March 2

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 (read more)

February 15

On Thursday evening, our campus will be a happening place! Not only will we be welcoming visiting families as they tour our school, but we will be having a “STEMazing” opportunity to see Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at work. Our STEM Festival will feature our students and the research they have done in proving, or disproving, scientific hypotheses. We will have student reports on famous inventors and young researchers from our Lower School demonstrating our amazing sense of smell and the integration with taste buds. Science and language arts (read more)

Feburary 2

It seems as of late, every which way we turn, we run into “us vs. them.” On a school level, this isn’t always unusual as our students learn to build healthy friendships and relationships. Things can be going along swimmingly until exclusion happens or comments are made that result in hurt feelings or broken relationships. We try to use these important teachable moments to present a different way to be friends, to be in community. This can be difficult in present times, however, when there is a more extreme sense (read more)

January 25

Last Saturday, we had an Open House for prospective families to visit our campus and learn about our school. Parents were present to give tours, and several of our Lower School teachers were there as well to share information about curriculum and programs. The most special part, however, was our STEM activity table, which was “staffed” by sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students who are members of our STEM Club. As our prospective students inched their way over, our students welcomed them in, getting down on eye-level to invite them (read more)

January 18

As I write this blog, we have entered a historic week during which we celebrate the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on one end and witness the inauguration of the new President of the United States on the other. We have been in a time of great divide in our country, and we pray that the new government will work to bring us all together again as a unified nation. My trust is in God, and my great hope rests with the next generation. When I look at (read more)

January 4

Happy New Year to our St. Michael’s community! As we return to school and begin again, we have the opportunity to regroup and recharge as we launch into the second half of our school year. I have commented many times that the academic calendar allows time for goals to be set and then reset once again following our Christmas holiday. I always find that my goals for the year that began in August can always use a bit of revision as we pass the midpoint. So what can that look (read more)

December 14

It was an exciting afternoon last Wednesday as we celebrated the completion of the new multipurpose room with a “soft opening” and early Christmas lunch for our faculty and staff. Our new room will serve as the hub for our lunch program, the home for Aftercare, and a beautiful spot for meetings and special programs for our students and faculty. With a little ribbon cutting and a big cheer from our faculty and staff, it was thrilling to walk into the space we have dreamed about for quite a long (read more)

December 8

Reverence is defined as deep respect or awe. It also can mean deep admiration, amazement, or astonishment. As it is our value for December, we began talking about reverence in our Monday Chapel assembly as the respect that we should show for one another, recognizing that our Baptismal Covenant calls us to respect the dignity (and worth) of every human being. With that in mind, our students were reminded to THINK before they speak to another person, be it a friend, a teacher, a sibling, a parent, or even a (read more)

November 30

This fall, it seemed providential that our monthly values fit perfectly with this very unusual time in our country. We have been accustomed to “the way we have always done it” with regards to elections and public debate. The months leading up to the election threw many of us off kilter. Politics aside, what has thrown me most off balance was the manner in which we, as a society, have found a sense of freedom in expression that lost civility, respect, compassion, tolerance, and kindness. This new freedom represents a (read more)