In my opening speech to faculty this year I referenced our mission statement:
Challenging and nurturing Mind, Body, and Spirit, we inspire boys and girls to lead lives of purpose, faith, and integrity.
When I applied for the position of Head of School, I was required to submit a statement of my educational philosophy. In this opening excerpt, I notice the close connection to the EA mission:
It is our responsibility as educators to vigorously challenge and support each and every student, and it is this dual focus that creates a synergy to empower all learners to stretch toward their potential.
I go on to explain a bit more about what I mean:
Schools must emphasize high cognitive demand, engaging tasks, and lofty expectations so that students are able to reach new academic heights. We must however, pay equal attention to creating supportive environments that allow students to take risks, make connections with others, and feel, in every sense of the word, “safe.”
From my very first day here, I felt that EA was a good fit for me as a leader. I see countless examples each day of challenging and nurturing. It is what we believe in, and I am proud that I witness not only a pursuit of academic excellence but also a rigorous commitment to community.
Every time I talk with someone who has been here a while, I hear powerful anecdotes about the strength of the community. It seems everyone has an “EA was there for me” story.
The beginning of the year is a great time to remember why we are here, confirm our beliefs and mission, and acknowledge our gratitude for all we have.