Dear KES Family:
Us and them, cat and mouse…ugh. I would hate school if the relationship between students and staff was adversarial. Being on the same side, having the same goals, and not letting the big teacher desk come between us, is essential to creating a happy and respectful school culture. When we realize that we are all in this together, and anyone’s successes and achievements make us all feel good, then something really magical happens on campus.
There have been many magical moments this week. I was in awe this Wednesday during assembly at the students’ reaction to Mr. Pat LePoidevin’s original bagpipe composition and “gift” to Mr. Kevin Lakes and Major Hynes. The piece is emotionally stirring and, as I marvelled at Pat’s piping on stage, I noticed that all 361 students shared my attention and appreciation of the music and significance of the moment. Huge applause by all.
Hiking Cape Split with the entire Grade 9 class on Monday provided me an opportunity to see how special the group is. Despite the time pressure to be back at school early for everything from soccer matches to volunteering at the hospital, these young men and women made their way through the woods and rugged trail with laughter and good spirits. On the return journey, the group needed less than 90 minutes to hike the final 7kms! How wonderful it was to see Ms. Cummings, Ms. Sullivan, and Mr. Lakes walking and talking so naturally and happily with everyone the whole time.
Although twelve-year-old Cooper Pape ‘schooled’ me with his soccer skills in the week’s staff/student soccer match, I loved the spirit of the event. It was competitive yet not adversarial. Both sides wanted to win. There was applause for good plays on both sides…and lots of laughter for not-so-good moves. For me, the spirit of the game was summed up in a spontaneous reaction from Grade 10 student Josie King. She is a fine multi-sport athlete and, by absolute fluke, I happened to block one of her shots on net with my foot. Her immediate and positive response of “great play” as she chased after the ball illustrated superb sportsmanship and healthy confidence.
If I were a student here, I would want to be in Mr. DeCoste’s drumline, and Ms. MacLean’s cast of Chicago, and Mr. MacLean’s or Ms. Hannah Sinclair’s Chemistry classes. The thing is, everywhere I look I see enthusiasm and passion being shared. Be it debating or dance, yoga or math, basketball or history, there is a sense that we are all in this together. It makes a difference when we do things together and don’t simply walk around with a whistle or a mark book. It makes a difference when our own children (and babies!) share in our Thanksgiving supper together.
This Thanksgiving, I am extra grateful for the school culture of acceptance and togetherness we have. It is rare and precious. No doubt it will be tested in the months to come, but I trust we will weather those storms when they come.
This week in Photos