It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
— Maya Angelou

Dear Friends,

This issue comes to you at that time of year when the School is busier than ever—in fact it sometimes seems as if we are figuratively sprinting to a finish line. Traditional end-of-year programs, and events and activities for our soon-to-be-graduates in particular, populate the calendar. The air on campus is filled with eager expectations as well as a sense of closure, but there is a bit of the bittersweet as well. Soon we will conclude this academic year, which has been admittedly complex, but certainly never dull. I would not have it any other way, and I know that our faculty and staff would likely agree, because it is times like these that make teaching and learning more exciting than ever.

Earlier this year I wrote in this magazine of my decision to focus on kindness and empathy for the start to this 2016–2017 academic year, and the importance of “listening to understand, not to respond.”

A “blast from the past” but still meaningful today: This archival flyer, which hangs framed in the Head of School office, promotes an exhibit from not so long ago, featuring original works by Dr. De Jarnett. At one time Dr. De Jarnett considered a professional photography career, and as many in the School are aware he has passed on his love for photography to his daughter Alexandra “Ali” ’16.

A “blast from the past” but still meaningful today: This archival flyer, which hangs framed in the Head of School office, promotes an exhibit from not so long ago, featuring original works by Dr. De Jarnett. At one time Dr. De Jarnett considered a professional photography career, and as many in the School are aware he has passed on his love for photography to his daughter Alexandra “Ali” ’16.

This focus has evolved into a renewed appreciation for that part of our mission that speaks to how we “embrace diversity.” Through an active commitment to appreciating differences, our intentional community is enriched in so many ways. Once again I wish to echo the words of poet Maya Angelou, who tells us, “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”

Beauty and strength are often best observed when one experiences others expressing themselves. Through creative writing, music, the visual arts, sports, even participation in STEM-related programs, our students are celebrating their unique perspectives through different modes of self-expression. The School is privileged to be rich with obvious examples of diversity; ethnic, political, or religious differences, just for starters. But when those within our community express themselves, new layers of distinctions are inevitable and intriguing. In this issue of D-E Today, we feature some of our students who, through self-expression, have profoundly enriched our community. You will hear from these students and realize how they intuitively employ our core values, such as commitment and honesty—and our “Student as Learner” (SaL) traits, especially creativity and perseverance—in these pursuits. We are also fortunate to include in this issue two original poems by Amina Sadural ’18 and Riley Levine ’20. Together these various testimonials vividly demonstrate how our students beautify and strengthen our community, fulfilling our mission to “embrace diversity”.

In the late winter and early spring, we were privileged to host a number of memorable and thought-provoking speakers for assemblies and parenting education events. We also enjoyed “home-grown” awareness-building programs initiated by our student clubs and their faculty advisors. Upper School Principal Joe Algrant provides his own take here (click here to read) on how the School also significantly benefitted from these programs.

This issue also brings with it recognition of the School’s 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awardees, Richard “Dick” Totten Button ESB ’47 and Susan Law Dake D ’67, and the newest inductees in our Athletic Hall of Fame. Sustainability and other diversity initiatives are also highlighted.

And finally in this issue we have also included seasonal updates from our arts and athletics departments, and we recognize and honor those who are D-E standouts.

Thank you for being a part of our community of learners.

Warmly,

Dr. Rodney V. De Jarnett P ʼ13, P ʼ16
Head of School

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Dr. Rodney V. De Jarnett P ʼ13, ʼ16
Head of School

 

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