December Head of School Letter: Thanks + Giving
We’re better in community. As much as the American myth of self-reliance informs our cultural imagination, rarely do we go it alone. We learn and live together, and the interconnections we share sustain us and make us better.
In every class at GUS, the ideas and voice of each child are honored. We teach students what they can accomplish together. Whether sharing traditions at Bread Day, working with our community partners like The Food Project or Beverly Bootstraps, or sharing with those in need, Glen Urquhart School children and families focus on ways we can help each other. It’s certainly the season for that now, but GUS does it all year long.
At GUS, our mission statement encourages us to “speak individually, yet work collaboratively.” We work daily to develop individual voices in students—whether through learning the alphabet and related words in kindergarten, developing voice in formal writing in fifth grade, or helping students navigate city bureaucracy over the telephone in an upper school X-block. Our mission statement encourages us to “act responsibly in our community and in the world.” That aspect of our mission is as much about what we guide students to do today as what we hope our graduates will lead us in doing tomorrow.
I recently spoke to Gillian Harper Ice ’83, professor and director of global health at Ohio University. According to OU’s website, “Dr. Ice’s research interests include human biology, aging, stress, long-term care, and grandparenting. For many years she has been looking at the impact of the HIV epidemic on older adults in Africa. As HIV has ravaged the middle generation, senior members of the community often look after the young, many of whom are orphans. Ice studies the impact of that relationship on the caregiver; their stress levels, their mental health, their physical health, diet and nutrition.” Dr. Ice is certainly an accomplished individual, but as important, she works to improve the world around her. She told me GUS opened her eyes to new possibilities and set her on a path to pursue them. She is a GUS graduate who is living our mission, and we’re proud of her!
As we enter the holiday season, let’s all work to make these dark, wintry days bright through what we share with others.
Head of School