Head of School Message

Dear D-E Community, 

You may be familiar with the ancient parable of the group of blind men and the elephant.  In this story, the earliest versions of which appear in Buddhist texts dating to around 500 BCE, a group of blind men who have never come across an elephant find themselves in a position to learn about the animal when one visits their village.  “Come,” say the blind men, “let us inspect the elephant and learn of it by touch.”  Each blind man approaches the elephant to learn what he can.  The man who approaches the elephant’s trunk believes the elephant must look like a thick snake.  The man alongside the elephant is certain that the animal resembles a broad wall.  The man who feels the elephant’s leg understands the elephant to look like a stout tree trunk, the man near the ear feels it looks like a fan, and the man inspecting the tail thinks the elephant resembles a rope.  The message of this parable is about the limits of human understanding, that no individual can have a complete knowledge of objective reality based on their own limited experience.  

I’ve been thinking, however, that the parable can also be applied to the multiple facets of schools like Dwight-Englewood School.  Schools like ours are of course about far more than just exams, quizzes, grades, and transcripts.  A school experience, depending on one’s perspective at any given moment, is about learning to make a difference in one’s community, how to be a better friend, how to balance work with extracurriculars, how to manage one’s emotions and conflicts, and how to grow as a human being with a unique identity beyond the classroom.  Just as every blind man in the parable was correct in their personal perception of the elephant, every individual perception of what school “is” and what school is “for” is a correct and necessary part of what it means to be D-E.  And like with the elephant, no individual experience of the school is complete without stepping back to take a look at the broader picture, and without taking into account the personal experiences of each of our over 1,000 students.

In many ways, this issue of D-E Today underscores this point.  In the following pages, you will have the chance to read about some of the facets of our school that go beyond the traditional academic classroom.  I hope you enjoy a look at our Social/Emotional Learning program, our Human Development Department, and our Health and Wellness programming.  Moreover, you’ll have the chance to hear from some alumni about relationships forged at D-E, learn about some of our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) initiatives, and keep up with the past season’s co-curricular activities.

In reading this issue, I hope that you’ll agree that while academic pursuits will always be the centerpiece of our efforts, so much of what we do to change the lives of our students for the better happens alongside–and in support of–traditional academic experiences.  Thank you in advance for taking the time to experience D-E Today.  


Jeremy Gregersen

D-E 360° Summer
Athletics Schedule
W.A.G. Week at a Glance
D-E Today - News and Editorial Content

Related Posts