The years students spend in Upper School are exciting ones, loaded with experiences that help students pursue their passions while preparing them for success in college and beyond. At the core of the All Saints’ experience in the Upper School is a focus on each student, providing a supportive environment that challenges each student to reach his or her full potential. All Saints’ has a wide array of offerings in academics, athletics, and the arts to ensure that each student has ample opportunity to explore and develop his or her special interests and talents.
The Upper School at All Saints’ is designed so that students have significant interactions with key adults who assist them in the process of self-discovery and self-confidence. The teacher who takes that extra time to help a student master a difficult concept, the coach or director who challenges a student to do more than they thought they were capable of, or the advisor who gives a young person a safe place to discuss concerns are all key figures at All Saints’.
One of my common themes is that a key purpose of high school is to prepare students to “leave home.” I love seeing the end product of years of work by parents and school as students head off to the next stage of life. The constant challenge is to make sure each student is ready for that next step.
My recent reading, study, discussion, and reflection has convinced me that today’s high school students live in a fundamentally different world than we grew up in. As such, definitive preparation for college and life must focus on how to be successful adults in that different world. It is still essential that students know how to communicate effectively in all forms and that remains central to the mission of the Upper School at All Saints’. However, collaboration, critical thinking and (perhaps more importantly) critical questioning are also key skills. Finally, an understanding of the world and each individual’s role in that world are central to “success” as students find their place in the 21st century as college students and valued members of the workforce.
I have come to love the cyclical nature of schoolwork. As much as I enjoy watching our seniors graduate I enjoy seeing a new group of ninth graders walking into orientation. It is great to help them dream about what they will become and to be agents to help them achieve that dream.
While I emphasize preparation in this letter I do not want to give the impression that the high school years are all about preparing for something else. Preparation is best done by doing. Young people become leaders by acting as leaders. Our goal is nothing less than for all All Saints’ graduates to be people who “make a difference” and hope that their high school years will give them an opportunity to pursue their passions, to solidify their values, and to hone their skills.
Head of Middle andUpper School