December 13

Among our teachers’ many talents, one that stands out is that of being master gardeners. Teachers have the amazing ability to get their hands dirty, planting seeds; nurturing young, tender plants; and giving them just the right amount of water, nourishment, encouragement, proper lighting, and a healthy dose of love. Just step on our campus for a visit, and you will see a beautiful botanical garden that is richly diverse and colorful, and of varying sizes and rates of growth and development. Some grow well on their own, displaying independence (read more)

December 6

There are very few places where it is more exciting to spend the weeks leading up to Christmas than in a school. As one can imagine, the atmosphere is electric with visions of sugarplums, intermingled with math facts, dancing in little heads! Focus begins to wane in the classrooms as the number of distractions multiply. In contrast, we find ourselves in the church liturgical season of Advent, a time that calls us to wait, to watch, to stay alert as we prepare for God’s joyful surprise. It is a time (read more)

November 29

In our cycle of monthly values that we focus on with our students, it is not surprising that the values of Thankfulness and Gratitude fall in the month of November. Naturally, it is a time when we focus on the many blessings that we have in our lives, and each student can list a number of people, places, or things for which they are grateful. Through generous hearts and spirits, our students enthusiastically support efforts to reach out to make good things happen for other people throughout the year. This (read more)

November 15

As we head toward our annual celebration of Thanksgiving, gratitude and gratefulness become routine topics of conversation. We have talked about it in our chapel services and in the classrooms. Certainly, it might be a topic around dinner tables at home as well. When asked what they might be thankful for, our students name people, places, and things of great value. Family, friends, pets, material possessions, and our school are often mentioned in the list they recite. Frequently overlooked, however, are the intangible things that bring meaning to our daily (read more)

November 1

One of the favorite books my own children loved followed the adventures of a young boy who wanted to be someone different every day. One day he was an explorer, and another day he might have been an astronaut. His imagination took him many places near and far. By exploring many interests and talents, possibilities opened up for the little boy for his life, clarifying what he wanted to be. The question that we always asked at the conclusion of the story, however, was: “Who do you want to be?” (read more)

October 18

This Sunday, October 22, St. Michael’s School and St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church will join together to celebrate our Episcopal school. Across the country and beyond, Episcopal schools and churches have been celebrating the educational ministry of Episcopal schools during the month of October. For 59 years, St. Michael’s has been committed to our mission to foster the intellectual, physical, artistic, ethical, and spiritual development of its students. It seeks to do this in a traditional Episcopal setting, nourishing a community of students and faculty from all social, (read more)

October 4

The response was overwhelming! Just as the summer came to an end and schools began to prepare to open, the hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico began to take form, producing three record-setting storms. Hurricane Harvey, the first of these, slammed into the southeastern coast of Texas, bringing devastating wind, rain, and floods. Houston and surrounding areas saw unprecedented flooding, which affected not only residences and businesses but churches and schools as well. The Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools stepped up to support affected schools in (read more)

September 27

In a world that seems to grow more polarized every day with angry, hurtful words hurled through cyberspace at lightning speed, it is refreshing to take refuge among the community of St. Michael’s. Here we can talk about the virtue of Goodness, and our students actually try to make someone’s day better by random acts of kindness. A smile, a gentle word, an invitation to join in a game, encouragement to be a part of a circle of friends. Every day we see examples of people trying to do the (read more)

September 20

Several times a year, we place a half-day in our schedule, setting aside intentional time for our faculty to meet together, learn together, and grow together as a professional group. Although most of our teachers routinely attend workshops and conferences during the year that address their area of expertise, having time together as a faculty and staff is important. This year we are including, as a part of our professional development, a focus on health and wellness. With that in mind, this Wednesday our topic is Mindfulness, and our facilitator (read more)

September 13

I had the realization, as I prepared for our All-School Chapel on Monday, that none of our students had experienced 9/11. This year marked the sixteenth anniversary of the event that significantly changed our country. We did not so much dwell on the events of that day in our chapel conversation but rather on the goodness of humanity that was evident as hands across our country reached out to help and to hold one another. The same goodness and compassion that many of us saw around the 9/11 experience was (read more)

September 6

The beginning of the school year is a very intense period. Our faculty returns during August, working in the heat to unpack supplies, rearrange furniture, put up fresh classroom décor, and study curricula in order to prepare engaging lesson plans. As the countdown to the first day of school began, so began the process of intake conferences, where teachers are all ears, learning as much as possible about each child from the perspective of parents. Our culminating events are our Curriculum Nights, when parents gather in class groups to hear (read more)

August 30

As our first week of school concluded, our fourth through eighth grade students brought their backpacks to Friday Chapel to have them blessed for the year. As a follow up on Monday, three eager Kindergarten students helped me to unpack my own backpack, which was loaded for the day. As we unpacked, the students found my laptop, my snack, my water bottle, my math book, my notebook, and my planner. These are common items that each student brings to school each day and can create a rather heavy load. In (read more)

August 23

We’re off and running into a new school year. From faculty and staff to each of our students, we have accepted the challenge to Dream Big, working together to make those dreams come true. And what would be my dream for our school and for our students this year? Well, I’d love for all of us to work together to ensure that this school continues to be a place where everyone feels welcomed, encouraged, accepted, appreciated, and celebrated for who they are and the unique talents they bring to our (read more)

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)