July 2, 2021
Happy 4th of July. I write to you at the end of my first week as 32nd Head of School at Worcester Academy. My family will arrive next week, and my wife, Dana, and I look forward to meeting many of you later this summer. We are so excited to be here!
Yesterday, on my first official day, I toured the school with Jake Sumner, our Dean of Student Life. I had asked Jake to show me our school through the eyes of the students, as that seemed to me to be the most appropriate way to begin my tenure. As we were walking through Dexter Hall, Jake showed me a brick fireplace in one of the dorm rooms. Although the fireplace is no longer operational, an “Achieve the Honorable” crest is embossed on the brick, making this a wonderfully symbolic artifact. This inspiring motto, quite literally, is etched in stone here on the Hilltop, and that really matters to me.
It is the case today that so many independent schools, especially here in New England, are much more alike than they are different. Fortunately, in our very best moments, Worcester Academy has been an exception to that rule. Because of our location, because of that motto, and because of the resilience that has defined us historically, Worcester Academy has the capacity to be distinct. Further, we have the capacity to provide a relevant and time-befitting education, and to graduate learners who will lead us forward by “Achieving the Honorable.”
True confession: I am a bit of a home-renovation show junkie. I don’t watch all those shows: In fact, I only enjoy the designers who are prone to restore the beauty of stately homes rather than tearing out every wall and losing the original magic. That fireplace in Dexter needs to stay, and the luster of that embossed crest must be restored. Metaphorically, it must continue to be the focal point of the room.
And that’s why I’m here. Dana and I have moved across the country because Worcester Academy is different. We are here because that sounds like good work to us. We are so excited to get started and equally excited to meet you all.
It has been my habit to write to the parent/guardian community once-a-month to share thematic, big picture thoughts. I think of this letter as the first in that series. Hopefully, it is a conversation starter as well. If you are so inspired, send me a quick reply at the email address below. I am anxious to hear from you.
Enjoy the holiday,