May 16

When young prospective students and parents come to visit our school, along with other admissions materials we will give the child a little stuffed baby eagle. Not only is the eagle our mascot, but I believe it is fitting that we give a little eagle to little children who are launching their formal education with us. At St. Michael’s School, our students are in a nest, of sorts, and it is in our magical nest that we raise them up to be successful scholars. It is our job, in partnership (read more)

May 3

When I reflect back over all of the teachers I had as a student, including the professors I had in college, I can remember almost every single one. I remember their personalities, their style of teaching, and the encounters I had, both positive and negative. Their patience seemed never ending. Their enthusiasm and passion for teaching were often contagious, and they became my role models as I became a parent and then as an administrator. There were certain teachers whose influence on my education was profound. I majored in history (read more)

April 25

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 (read more)

March 28

Have you ever watched people waiting? Waiting for the train. Waiting for the plane to land. Waiting for the kids to arrive home. Waiting for Christmas to come. Waiting to grow up. Some people are calm, while others are pacing and fretting and worrying about delays. We all have had our ongoing experiences with patience as well as the opposite, impatience. When I polled our students in our Monday morning chapel about patience, it should not be surprising that when asked who had experienced impatience, practically the entire school raised (read more)

March 21

Last Saturday evening, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in fine style at the Savoy Opera House, the location for our annual Gala auction. A good time was had by all. In the process of having fun, we raised friends and funds for our school. Although the Gala is months in preparation, the final days find teachers, staff, and parent-volunteers coming together to transform the Savoy into a magical place. To see the number of moms, dads, friends, and families working together was indeed gratifying. Truly, we could not have done (read more)

March 14

It was an emotionally moving morning. At 10:00 a.m., our Middle School students and faculty gathered on the athletic field for seventeen minutes in a circle. Fourteen students and three faculty members formed an inner circle, and each read a short biography of a student or faculty member who lost his or her life one month ago in Parkland, Florida, due to gun violence. Many of the students targeted at that Florida high school were fourteen at the time. Lighted votive candles for each of the seventeen students and teachers (read more)

February 28

My heart has been heavy for the last two weeks. In the midst of a day that focused on hearts and love, tragic news greeted us in the late afternoon that yet one more school had been the center of violence at the hands of a troubled teen. I shed a few tears and said prayers on behalf of those whose grief will forever run deep. Surely, everyone felt the heartache of a school, a community, and our nation. So how should we respond in our school to such tragic (read more)

February 14

She came into the courtyard quietly. Her head was slightly down, and there was only the hint of a smile on her face. Clearly, there was some anxiety, some cautiousness about her, and some reluctance to breathe deeply and enjoy the moment. Then the music started. The steel drum band was in full swing, dancing and playing to the rhythms that flowed from the instruments. One by one, students got up and began to move to the music. Someone started a conga line, and another simply began to dance by (read more)

January 31

This past weekend, St. Michael’s School presented The Lion King. The performance by our third through eighth grade students was spectacular. From the sets to the make-up, the music, and the enthusiasm of the cast, this year’s musical received rave reviews from the 900+ in attendance. The Lion King was the perfect musical to end the month of January and our ongoing conversations with students regarding the value of courage. Courage is demonstrated in many different ways. It might be in doing something challenging or trying something that has never (read more)

January 17

On Friday of last week, our middle school students, parent-volunteers, and faculty piled into cars, SUVs, and vans to head out into the Tucson community for a day of service. With more than one hundred students working at six different agency locations for most of the day, their service did make a difference in the lives of others, including some furry friends. As we have talked about the work that Martin Luther King, Jr. did on behalf of others by quietly preaching peace, justice, and equality for all people, it (read more)

January 10

When I think about the many values that come from a St. Michael’s education, one is the validation our students receive from the faculty and staff. This often comes from the listening ears and wisdom shared throughout the school day. It is a common sight to see a teacher or a staff member engaged in conversation with a student or a small group. It may be at a lunch table or in a courtyard exchange; a morning greeting at the door or a casual encounter in a hallway. Not only (read more)

December 20

What better place to be during the Christmas season than at a school? There is a festive spirit in the air at St. Michael’s, and the excitement grows with each day. Santa hats and reindeer antlers are appearing, and cookies and special treats are filling the classrooms and counters. Christmas music is in the air. Adults and children alike can be heard humming a little tune as they walk along. Moreover, in each child’s eyes there is a sparkle, a little twinkle, and a sense of wonder and awe as (read more)

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)