Notes from Tad

Recent writings and talks by our Headmaster.

A Letter to New Students
Tad Roach

March 13, 2017

Dear Student,

Congratulations on your acceptance to St. Andrew's! I am eager to welcome you to our community next fall and work closely with you during your career at the School.

I invite you to call me, write me, email me, or visit me if you have particular questions about St. Andrew's, as you and your parents discuss your decision about where to go to school next year. I am available to talk with you night and day – that is a commitment I make to each one of our students throughout his/her career at St. Andrew's.

The end of the admissions season is often a time when schools make all kinds of promises and develop all kinds of superficial ways to influence students to choose to come study on their campuses. You may at times feel besieged by incessant phone calls, emails, and letters from various members of school communities.

But as you get to know St. Andrew's and me, you will learn that we would rather talk to you about the challenge and responsibility of education than promise you four, three, or two years of a high school experience full of privilege, comfort, and complacency. We would rather talk to you about the power of character, integrity, leadership, and resilience than convince you that high school is going to be a heck of a good time.

You see, St. Andrew's believes education must be connected to a public aspiration, a public good: we inspire and liberate students to take responsibility for addressing the needs and challenges of the world. This process begins with assembling a dynamic and diverse student body and working very hard to create a school culture that honors human rights, conversation, respect, integrity, and kindness. As students and faculty work together to create an inspiring and powerful educational and ethical culture within the School, we collectively begin to see how our country and world might come together in peace, reconciliation, and love. Our academic program explicitly prepares students for the habits of mind needed for 21st century engagement and transformation: communication, problem solving, collaborative skills, tenacity, hard work, determination, and creativity.

The great high school must not shut its eyes to the challenges of our times, rather we must quite deliberately join the national and global dialogue as we consider these kinds of questions: how must we change habits of 21st century life to make the earth sustainable for future generations? How can we as a world celebrate the remarkable diversity of the human family and at the same time express and protect our common humanity? How might we bridge violent and suspicious polarities among political movements in our country and world? How might we rescue civility, truth, and justice from a culture of disrespect, deceit, and distortion?

Because the very survival and vitality of our democracy depends on our responses to the above essential questions, St. Andrew's will welcome you into a community that aspires to be alive, discerning, and intelligent. We will suggest you see your lives as opportunities for service and engagement in the life of this democracy and world. We will introduce you to an academic program that specifically seeks to encourage students to become more independent, creative, and mature.

Because St. Andrew's is a place of engagement, optimism, and hope, we all benefit: we embrace a culture that makes us better people than we normally are. This School will be one of those places that makes you dream bigger dreams, embrace virtues of generosity, compassion, and acceptance, commit to causes and concerns larger than yourself. St. Andrew's will introduce you to the friends and mentors for a lifetime, and they will always bring out the best in you.

We welcome you to St. Andrew's. You have demonstrated to our Admissions Committee that you have the qualities that will make you an engaged, responsible, and inspiring agent of change and goodness in the world.


Daniel T. Roach, Jr.
Merrill M. Stenbeck Head of School

Tad's introduction of Bishop Wayne Wright on the evening of his final appearance as Bishop in our School Chapel

Tad delivered these remarks to the Class of 2017 just before the opening of the 2016-17 school year.

Remarks given by Headmaster Tad Roach at the 2016 Opening Faculty Meeting

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