It is an honor for me to write this letter to you all as you prepare to begin your leadership year at St. Andrew’s. You are my 23rd graduating class of my career as Head of School, and I already sense the energy, creativity, and commitment you will bring to the campus in late August.
As you well know, seniors at St. Andrew’s embrace crucial responsibilities within the School community. They literally make all the difference in the lives and experiences of individual students, in the culture of residential and student life, and the spirit and ambition of the arts, community service, and athletics. Such contributions and commitments emerge most powerfully in classes that begin by making sure their own lives are worthy of emulation and admiration.
Great senior classes first succeed by expressing and enacting St. Andrew’s virtues within their own Form. They realize that the best way to encourage leadership, kindness, grace, and empathy in younger students is to embody those qualities in their own daily lives. Therefore, great classes have grown up, matured, and learned from their previous mistakes, lapses, and violations of community norms and expectations. They honor the human dignity of each of their classmates, without exception; they reject expressions of social cruelty, exclusivity, cliques, gossip, and drama. The relationships and friendships within the Class are strong, respectful, and conducive to the growth of all.
Great classes unite in a rejection of the alcohol/drug culture and support each classmate who stands courageously for our substance-free culture. Seniors demonstrate honor, integrity, and a life of ethical behavior. They never cut corners, cheat to gain advantage, steal or deceive within their community.
Seniors model student relationships that reflect respect, consent, human dignity, and grace. They reject the hook-up culture and set an example for younger students to follow. Seniors honor, explore, and celebrate the diversity of their Class and seek unity, collaboration, and communication among individuals and groups. Finally, seniors commit to deepening their collaboration and respect for the faculty and staff within the School.
Once you have all of these internal commitments to one another in place, you have earned the humility, credibility, and privilege of caring for others and teaching younger students our ethos. They will see the kindness and empathy you profess in action every day. They will see your belief in human rights, caring relationships, diversity, and integrity are not superficial but deeply ingrained in your character. They will see that you as seniors seek not power and authority but rather mentorships and relationships of encouragement and support.
As you prepare for the new year, do your best to be organized and ready: write that common application essay; read your summer reading books; prepare for your year’s work in academics, the arts, athletics, and community service. Honor and thank your families for all they mean and do for you.
I look forward to working with you throughout this coming year. Even as you share so much with the School, I will be working hard for each one of you, seeking to make the school community aware of your leadership , fighting hard for you in the college process, and advising and mentoring you.
See you soon,
- Headmaster News