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 away to the desert Southwest? What could possibly convince us to stay? It didn’t take long to have my initial answer, and to see the list of convincing reasons grow. St. Michael’s, first and foremost, is a fantastic educational institution. We educate children well. When I speak with our graduates, I am sometimes speechless at their poise, articulation, passion, vision, and devotion to St. Michael’s. They credit our school for preparing them well, and it is this school that laid the foundation for their high school success. On another level, beyond this academic foundation, is the profound effect St. Michael’s has on the nourishment of a sound moral compass in our students. In partnership with parents, our students leave us with a deep sense of integrity; a knowledge of right and wrong; a desire to display kindness and compassion, perseverance and tenacity; and a growing resilience to keep trying, even when goals are not initially achieved. Our students learn that they are surrounded by adults and friends who are there to support them and cheer them on, even when the going seems a bit tough.
What I saw five years ago still holds true. This is a community of people, young and old, who sense the magic of this campus and know that being a member of this community is a transformational experience. And what makes this possible? Why, it’s the community and the people within it. It’s the parents, the teachers, the administrators, and, most importantly, the students who make the biggest difference. That, in and of itself, made St. Michael’s the place for me and a place that I wanted to be a part of. Although our campus is beautiful and our buildings represent the aesthetics of the desert Southwest, it is the people and the intrinsic values nurtured here that set this school apart. So, why St. Michael’s? I think the better question is, “Why not St. Michael’s?” Here we educate children in mind, body, and spirit. Here, it is about scholarship, leadership, and friendship. We don’t always take the easy road, but we do prepare our students for life, even when the road itself is not easy. This is why I came. This is why our alumni return. This is why I believe in the work we do. At the end of the day, it is always about the children.
Head of School