As the 2021-22 school year comes to a close, I am reminded that historians often look at the past in terms of change over time, or what is also known as the delta, of situations. When we look back over the past ten months and consider where Shorecrest stands today, it is staggering to contemplate the challenges we have encountered and the triumphs we have experienced. I am confident that we have completed this year on a positive trajectory, marveling at the growth of our students and with a resounding sense of community which serves as a defining feature of Shorecrest.
Tomorrow evening we will celebrate and honor the Class of 2022 as they become Shorecrest’s newest graduates. Their achievements reflect the hard work and vast talents of this diverse group of 87 individuals. I want to share some of the impressive accomplishments of the Class of 2022.
At this time of year, we are preparing to celebrate our seniors as they move on to the next stage of their lives - college. I can’t wait to tell you all about our Class of 2022 in next week’s Ebytes, our last before Commencement. As we prepare to celebrate our graduating class, we also celebrate some beloved faculty and staff who are moving on to the next stage of their lives - retirement. This group of wonderful individuals has invested almost 200 years in Shorecrest altogether! Please join me in heartfelt appreciation for their many contributions to our school.
In honor of Mother's Day, this week’s Ebytes is guest-authored by my son, Stan Sandoval. Stan lives in Indianapolis and works as a Performance Engineer for the IndyCar team Ed Carpenter Racing. He is a graduate of Westminster School in Connecticut and holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Spanish from Columbia University (NY) and a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering from University of Southampton in England.
Here comes May, the most anticipated month of the school year! May is chock full of activity, as the academic year comes to a close. The days are full of so many academic, athletic, artistic and community events. I love the rituals and traditions that go along with school life in May, and I am looking forward to all of it! Please check our school calendar for the specific dates and times of all these exciting events.
April is a busy time at Shorecrest! We recently hosted our second International Festival which was a huge success. Today was our 37th Grandparents & Special Friends Day, taking place after a two-year hiatus. Today also marks the end of our week-long Celebrate the Arts festivities. Last night, the Upper School Spring Musical “Sweeney Todd” premiered to a packed house and was a resounding success!
Yesterday, the Gaffney Green in front of Charger Commons was filled with beautifully decorated, family-run booths representing more than 30 different countries. At each booth students, parents, faculty, staff and friends could learn about a different culture and part of the world from which a Shorecrest family hails. The International Festival represented the cultural richness of our school community and was an incredible opportunity for us to learn and celebrate together. Many thanks to our International Connections group and the many volunteers who made the festival possible.
A core tenet of Shorecrest’s mission is “the development of a commitment to social responsibility.” One of the best examples of our mission in action is service learning, embodied by the Upper School Service Week, which concludes today. Service Week demonstrates our dedication to the core values of Responsibility, Respect, Integrity, Knowledge and Compassion.
The Strategic Planning Task Force is charged with helping Shorecrest set strategic goals for the next five years, as well as with providing guidance in the development of a plan to achieve them. A strategic plan helps the School identify the differentiators which will distinguish Shorecrest amongst our peers. Strategic planning also ensures that our mission serves as a guiding beacon to make short- and long-term decisions.
Instead of the Oscars, we have the Chargers, coming together on Friday, March 25 for our very first Movie Night, presented by a collaboration between the Shorecrest Community Association (SCA) and the Shorecrest Fund.
Donor dollars given to the Shorecrest Fund are invested directly into the growth and development of our people and programs. For those of you who have already made a generous gift this school year, we thank you. And for those of you who are still considering making your gift, please know that your support will positively impact the lives of Shorecrest students and faculty.
This past week, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) hosted its annual conference and launched its inaugural Heads Summit. The theme was Remembering Our Why: Finding Joy and Inspiration in Our Work. A number of Shorecrest faculty and administrators attended the virtual NAIS conference and I was lucky to participate in the Heads Summit in person.
It has been said, often credited to the famous Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky, that there are only two plots in literature: a character goes on a trip and a stranger comes to town. Those two themes stick in my mind as this week draws to a close.
Today marks the beginning of a long weekend vacation for Shorecrest families. This four-day, mid-winter break coincides with the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning’s annual Winter Institute, a day of professional development for Shorecrest teachers and other educators from across the country. This winter long weekend also takes place over Presidents Day, a federal holiday set aside to recognize and honor the birthdays of both President George Washington and President Abraham Lincoln.
This week marked my return to the classroom as a history teacher, for the first time in almost two years. As a faculty member for the Evening Charge program, I was very excited (and, I admit, a little bit nervous) to be back standing in front of students. As the evening unfolded with this wonderful group of Shorecrest parents and grandparents, our discussion about historical events reaffirmed to me how learning about what has happened in the past gives context and understanding to our world today.
A small moment at last week’s Lower School Town Meeting brought home to me how meaningful are the relationships formed between teachers and young children, and how that connection extends throughout their years at Shorecrest and across the many acres of this campus.
Author A. A. Milne, best known for his Winnie-the-Pooh books, wrote a poem called “Halfway Down.” It’s about a little boy who likes to stop and sit on a special step, halfway up and halfway down the staircase. As we edge past the halfway point in our school year, there is a stanza that resonates with me.
This weekend we honor the birthday and life of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A little-known aspect of Dr. King’s life is the impact of two summers that he spent working in a tobacco field in Connecticut. That experience would influence Dr. King’s decision to become a minister and heighten his resentment of segregation. That town was Simsbury, Connecticut, my home for fifteen years before coming to Shorecrest. It was always town legend that a young MLK spent time in Simsbury. In 2010, a local history teacher worked with high school students on a research project to investigate and later document the story about how his time in Simsbury shaped Dr. King’s life.