On Tuesday, as I was speaking with a colleague, a group of students who looked vaguely familiar walked by my door. As I rushed to catch up to them, grins and hugs greeted me from alumni boys who are now juniors in high school, returning to campus for our alumni celebration. The young adolescents who left us at the end of eighth grade had grown to be young men who are eagerly planning for college in another year. They talked about high school, how well prepared they were, their dreams for the future, and their continued love for St. Michael’s. It was a proud moment for me, as if they were my own boys. As I looked at them, I knew we had done our job well.
At St. Michael’s School, we have a community of families that are in partnership with us in raising children in mind, body, and spirit. We bring students in and treat them as our own. We work to prepare them for high school, shaping them as students who will make a difference in this world. We strive to instill a growth mindset as they learn new and complex concepts. We encourage them to reach for excellence, rather than perfection. As students grow and mature each year, their moral compass becomes shaped and defined. The values they carry forward become the foundation for the daily decisions and conduct for the rest of their lives. In short, we make a difference, and our alums who live the St. Michael’s values well beyond our adobe walls are the proof.
Each year, our eighth grade class visits the Capitol during their trip to Washington, D.C. They meet with our representatives to Congress and have the opportunity to ask questions regarding the operation of our government. Following this year’s trip, an alum who met our students during their visit to the Capitol took the time to send me a note regarding his interaction with our students. “Over the years, I have seen countless middle schoolers out here, and I can genuinely say that the St. Michael’s kids are far and away the most impressive. They listened patiently as Rep. McSally and two other D.C. alums spoke to them. They then proceeded to ask some very high-level questions about government, life in D.C., and how St. Michael’s prepared us for life. All of us were absolutely blown away.” Mr. Ridings also added, “St. Michael’s provided me with an incredible foundation for success, and I am positive that my peers would echo the same.”
Our alums speak volumes as they carry St. Michael’s into the world. From our enthusiastic high school students to those who have left college for careers, their actions speak louder than words, and St. Michael’s remains deeply embedded in their hearts. For that, I am grateful for, at the end of the day, we know we have done our job well. It is a privilege to be a special chapter in our students’ lives.
Head of School