November 9

By the time our Eagle Blog is posted, Election 2016 will have mercifully concluded, or at least one would hope that is the case. The fallout from the past campaign season, however, will long be felt in our country. Lost in the process was our sense of dignity and respect for the men and women who choose to be a part of our democratic system. Role models for our students seemed few and far between. Those running for public office, who worked hard to stay above the fray, are to (read more)

October 26

Last Friday, it was hard not to feel a deep sense of pride for St. Michael’s. As the Student Center filled with grandparents, we all were eager to show off our campus, share the number of activities that take place here, and spotlight our new facility improvements. The real focus, however, was on our students. They were front and center, as it should be. After all, our grandparents were on campus for one main reason…to see their grandchildren. From the start of the morning until the conclusion at mid-day, our (read more)

October 19

Admittedly, not too many years ago, I would sometimes watch and listen to my friends who were grandparents and shake my head a bit. They seemed to have become a bit over-the-top about their little darlings: sharing pictures, talking about the cutest little things their grandchildren did, and throwing any rational thought out the window when it came to birthday or Christmas shopping. Of course, I thought I would never be that person…until the day I became a grandparent. Now, I am one of those obsessive grandparents I formerly shook (read more)

October 12

For those of you who are folk-music fans, you may remember the Bob Dylan song, “The Times They Are A-changin’.” One particular verse speaks to me now as much as years ago when we think of how the world has evolved with regard to technology: Come mothers and fathers Throughout the land And don’t criticize What you can’t understand Your sons and your daughters Are beyond your command Your old road is rapidly agin’ Please get out of the new one If you can’t lend your hand For the times (read more)

October 5

When I first arrived at St. Michael’s, one of the first things that impressed me, outside of our amazing students and fantastic teachers, was the commitment of parents to lend a helping hand for the many special events throughout the school year. Parent and grandparent volunteers seemed to be everywhere. From the beginning of the school year to the end, our campus is a busy place. Cultural events, musical performances, parent gatherings, art shows, and student showcases all contribute to the magical experience of St. Michael’s but require many hands (read more)

September 28

Where has the month gone? It seems like just yesterday that we were greeting familiar and unfamiliar faces as students found their way to their new classrooms and teachers. Excitement filled the air, and the anticipation of the new year was so thick that you could almost taste it. We have now been in school for almost six weeks, and we have settled into our routines. And yet for some students, the settling is still underway. I remember well one experienced educator talking of her own son, who took nearly (read more)

September 21

The value for September has been tolerance. What an appropriate topic as we begin the school year, standing in observance of a significant election in our country. In our chapel services, we have spoken about tolerance first of ourselves, followed by tolerance of people that look different from us, and then tolerance of people who hold a different viewpoint from us. Tolerance is easy when everyone is of the same opinion…the same favorite color, favorite food, favorite sport, favorite school, etc. Tolerance becomes harder, however, as differences emerge and opinions (read more)

September 14

When I was growing up, it seemed that a fixed mindset was rather predominant in my way of thinking. It wasn’t unusual to hear people, including myself, say, “I’m not good at math” or “I’ll never make the team–I’m not good at sports.” Other expressions such as “It’s too hard” or “I can’t do that” or “I give up” were often heard in classrooms. A fixed mindset may have been established early, and it remained that way going forward. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized that (read more)

August 31

At St. Michael’s, we spend a great deal of time, at every opportunity possible, talking about values. At the beginning of the year, kindness and compassion are underscored, and that theme carries through our year. In May of 2013, the graduating class gave to St Michael’s a beautiful Ben’s Bells mural, which graces the wall outside of our Student Center. The plaque beside it proclaims, “St. Michael’s has the courage to be kind.” Among the Class of 2013 was a young man who stood as a constant reminder of both (read more)

August 24

And we’re off! After months of preparation and an exciting summer of campus construction, we have begun our new school year with optimism and a growth mindset that will open the door to unlimited possibilities for the students, teachers, and staff. There is a freshness to our start and a team spirit that joins us together. Just in the nick of time, the renovations to the old Parish Hall resulted in a beautiful, spacious School Office and a new home for Admissions. Our teachers will have a new work center, (read more)

May 26

And off we go…another school year behind us. The year has been swift and much has been accomplished. There have been victories and defeats. Steps forward and sometimes steps going back. There has been growth on many levels and achievement of goals set before us. The words “I can’t” have been replaced on many levels by “yes, I can!” I have seen many little blue engines trudge up the long hill with anxiety and doubts, only to see bright smiles on the downhill side as success is at hand. Tears (read more)

May 18

When I first arrived on the campus of St. Michael’s to meet the community, it was the day of our annual Art Expo. Of course, at the time, I had no idea what Art Expo was, but I knew that it was a culminating event in the school year, and the buzz on campus was one of anticipation and excitement. There were volunteers everywhere. Parents were working together hanging art, ferrying projects from art rooms to assigned locations around campus, and being available to help Mrs. Faltico and Ms. Monsma (read more)

May 11

On Tuesday afternoon, the Student Center was filled with alums who returned for the annual José Rincon Memorial Basketball Game. There were boys and girls from high school and college who came to not only play some spirited games against our current students and faculty but also simply to be on campus, back in the community that they feel very much a part of. This annual gathering honors the memory of a member of our community whose young life ended much too soon. José was a member of the Class (read more)

May 4

As the final weeks of the school year slip by at increasing speed, it’s not unusual for us to become a bit nostalgic, remembering when our St. Michael’s “seniors” were young elementary students just starting out. Like all good parents, teachers and administrators also want to impart words of wisdom, advice, encouragement, and care, knowing that in a few months our graduates will begin again in the large world of high school. Today, I listened to an inspiring address to eighth-grade students and senior scholarship winners at the Casas Adobes (read more)

April 27

One of the joys of the work that I do is observing teachers. Sometimes the observations may be in the classroom as they impart knowledge. Some of the best observations, however, take place throughout the course of a day: in the courtyards, in the hallways, in offices, going to and from Chapel, after school, or perhaps in the early morning hours before the bell rings. These observations tell much about our culture at St. Michael’s. For our youngest students, the greetings at the door or a quiet, reassuring presence on (read more)

April 20

At my previous school, I had a parent who was passionate about our school and the fabulous experience her two girls were having. From the small classes and the teachers who personally knew her children to the academics and character formation that were part of our daily chapel services. Whenever she would go to the grocery store, to the library, or shopping at the mall, she had her girls wear their school uniform or their SAES sweatshirt to advertise the school. People would stop and compliment her girls which was (read more)

April 13

Next week, our campus will be rather quiet. In the wee hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings, sleepy-headed middle school students will be boarding buses and planes to travel to the East, to the West, and to the Four Corners. Following closely behind on Tuesday, the fifth graders will travel to our state capitol in Phoenix. We send them out not only for experiential learning in American and Arizona history and government, marine biology, and archeology, but also as ambassadors from St. Michael’s. It is a magnificent experience that we (read more)