October 18

This Sunday, October 22, St. Michael’s School and St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church will join together to celebrate our Episcopal school. Across the country and beyond, Episcopal schools and churches have been celebrating the educational ministry of Episcopal schools during the month of October. For 59 years, St. Michael’s has been committed to our mission to foster the intellectual, physical, artistic, ethical, and spiritual development of its students. It seeks to do this in a traditional Episcopal setting, nourishing a community of students and faculty from all social, (read more)

October 4

The response was overwhelming! Just as the summer came to an end and schools began to prepare to open, the hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico began to take form, producing three record-setting storms. Hurricane Harvey, the first of these, slammed into the southeastern coast of Texas, bringing devastating wind, rain, and floods. Houston and surrounding areas saw unprecedented flooding, which affected not only residences and businesses but churches and schools as well. The Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools stepped up to support affected schools in (read more)

September 27

In a world that seems to grow more polarized every day with angry, hurtful words hurled through cyberspace at lightning speed, it is refreshing to take refuge among the community of St. Michael’s. Here we can talk about the virtue of Goodness, and our students actually try to make someone’s day better by random acts of kindness. A smile, a gentle word, an invitation to join in a game, encouragement to be a part of a circle of friends. Every day we see examples of people trying to do the (read more)

September 20

Several times a year, we place a half-day in our schedule, setting aside intentional time for our faculty to meet together, learn together, and grow together as a professional group. Although most of our teachers routinely attend workshops and conferences during the year that address their area of expertise, having time together as a faculty and staff is important. This year we are including, as a part of our professional development, a focus on health and wellness. With that in mind, this Wednesday our topic is Mindfulness, and our facilitator (read more)

September 13

I had the realization, as I prepared for our All-School Chapel on Monday, that none of our students had experienced 9/11. This year marked the sixteenth anniversary of the event that significantly changed our country. We did not so much dwell on the events of that day in our chapel conversation but rather on the goodness of humanity that was evident as hands across our country reached out to help and to hold one another. The same goodness and compassion that many of us saw around the 9/11 experience was (read more)

September 6

The beginning of the school year is a very intense period. Our faculty returns during August, working in the heat to unpack supplies, rearrange furniture, put up fresh classroom décor, and study curricula in order to prepare engaging lesson plans. As the countdown to the first day of school began, so began the process of intake conferences, where teachers are all ears, learning as much as possible about each child from the perspective of parents. Our culminating events are our Curriculum Nights, when parents gather in class groups to hear (read more)

August 30

As our first week of school concluded, our fourth through eighth grade students brought their backpacks to Friday Chapel to have them blessed for the year. As a follow up on Monday, three eager Kindergarten students helped me to unpack my own backpack, which was loaded for the day. As we unpacked, the students found my laptop, my snack, my water bottle, my math book, my notebook, and my planner. These are common items that each student brings to school each day and can create a rather heavy load. In (read more)

August 23

We’re off and running into a new school year. From faculty and staff to each of our students, we have accepted the challenge to Dream Big, working together to make those dreams come true. And what would be my dream for our school and for our students this year? Well, I’d love for all of us to work together to ensure that this school continues to be a place where everyone feels welcomed, encouraged, accepted, appreciated, and celebrated for who they are and the unique talents they bring to our (read more)

May 17

At this time of the year, when the days are full, classes are being completed, and final preparations are being made to close out the school year, the idea of striving for peacefulness seems out of reach and even comical. Many days feel anything but peaceful. And yet, as we talked about peacefulness in our Monday Chapel, students and teachers alike took a deep breath, perhaps wishing for this important virtue to be present in each of us. In the Benedictine way of living, a model for peace is offered (read more)

May 10

When I first joined the St. Michael’s community five years ago, I would take time during the summer days to wander the campus. I needed to find my way through the various courtyards. I wanted to become familiar with the environment that everyone spoke so highly of. What struck me was how peaceful the campus was. That continues to be an appropriate word to describe our unique environment. Yes, it can be noisy with more than 350 students and adults during the day, but the peacefulness remains. Peacefulness is the (read more)

March 29

As next week arrives, we will find our campus feeling a bit on the empty side. Our entire middle school departs over the weekend on long-anticipated class trips to Crow Canyon, Catalina Island, and Washington, D.C. Each of these trips complements our curriculum and will include lots of memories for our students. These are fabulous experiences and opportunities on many levels. On one level, lessons taught in the classroom will come to life through experiential learning. It’s one thing to read and study about cliff dwellers. Climbing to an actual (read more)

March 22

March Madness is upon us, and l would imagine that many folks are tuned in to NCAA basketball games, even if you are not normally a basketball fan. Tournament play, both at the conference level as well as national level, becomes exciting. Many of us adopt a new favorite team, and schools not normally in the spotlight become the potential Cinderella schools of the tournament. As a basketball fan, I admit to getting caught up in the school spirit that is seen on many levels. As an educator, I’m always (read more)

March 15

So much of what happens within a school day is about communication and how we relate to one another. From the time a student steps on campus and then into a classroom, the daily interaction between teachers and students begins. Our young Kindergarten students muster a great deal of courage on the first day of school as they move from spending a large percentage of their day with parents or caregivers to a new relationship with their classroom teacher. The many hats that a teacher will wear in the course (read more)

March 8

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 (read more)

March 2

And we’re off! The third and final trimester of the school year has begun. It never ceases to amaze me that we arrive at this point, and suddenly the end of the year seems much too close. There is so much left to do and a finite amount of time in which to accomplish it. In Chapel on Monday, I reminded our students that, using a baseball analogy, we are on third base and rounding the corner toward home plate. Rather than walk into home, why not run in, sliding (read more)

February 15

On Thursday evening, our campus will be a happening place! Not only will we be welcoming visiting families as they tour our school, but we will be having a “STEMazing” opportunity to see Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at work. Our STEM Festival will feature our students and the research they have done in proving, or disproving, scientific hypotheses. We will have student reports on famous inventors and young researchers from our Lower School demonstrating our amazing sense of smell and the integration with taste buds. Science and language arts (read more)

Feburary 2

It seems as of late, every which way we turn, we run into “us vs. them.” On a school level, this isn’t always unusual as our students learn to build healthy friendships and relationships. Things can be going along swimmingly until exclusion happens or comments are made that result in hurt feelings or broken relationships. We try to use these important teachable moments to present a different way to be friends, to be in community. This can be difficult in present times, however, when there is a more extreme sense (read more)