I’m often amazed when people who are not familiar with day-school communities assume that our students “live in a bubble.” A friend who is a priest even commented to me some years ago that these kids don’t experience real life. And so I begged to differ. Even in small schools, students experience the realities of life. In our Episcopal schools, we are diverse, and we celebrate that fact because it is real life. Our diversity includes students of different races, colors, religions, economic levels, countries of origin, languages, family structures, and talents. Amidst our diversity and within our community, life does happen, and that includes not only the celebration of life but the sadness and grief of loss. Joy is experienced, but so is tragedy. And yet no one is alone.
The beauty of being in community here is that we are able to walk together, adult and child, through the ups and downs of life. We can share stories. We can laugh together and, yes, we can cry together as well. This week, as we returned to school, faculty, staff, students, and parents began to share stories of our colleague and friend, K.C. Cameron. Each member of our community walked with K.C. through his illness, and many had the opportunity during the last month to say good-bye. K.C. modeled optimism and a positive spirit to all of us. Regardless of whether his hair was long, short, or buzzed, regardless of times of weight loss, the children were always accepting, compassionate, and eager to say hello and pet Darlin’. Over the last two years, we experienced the thrill of good news and the agony of defeat. During it all, our community reached out to K.C. and to each other. This week has been no exception as we have had the opportunity to hug one another, laugh and share funny stories, and recognize that it is absolutely all right to be sad and shed a tear.
This is what community is all about. We live together and share life as it happens. Sometimes we have so much to celebrate and cheer about. Other times, we can only look to tomorrow to be a better day. We learn from each other, and we sometimes step on toes. We reconcile, we forgive, and we recognize the value of true friendships, even on “the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad” days. We do not live in a bubble on our campus. In reality, we live in a vibrant, living, breathing community, where all that life has to offer can be experienced among us. And at the center of it all is God.
Head of School