What kind of community and culture do you imagine for your children and your family?
Shorecrest has a culture that is guided by our college preparatory mission, our vision that focuses on developing inclusive, innovative, and transformational education experiences and our five Core Values: Responsibility, Respect, Integrity, Knowledge, and Compassion. Our culture encourages high levels of involvement and participation in all aspects of school life.
Recently, while in a discussion about how African Americans are portrayed in US history, one of our students commented that during the Third Grade Class Play, African-Americans were recognized for their efforts to oppose slavery but not for their contributions to providing freedom and liberty. Those of us who watched the production this year enjoyed the show. The students loved performing and the audience enjoyed the music and historical tidbits. Yet, when put under the lens of equity and racial justice, the production clearly leaves out the contributions of African Americans and other ethnic groups who make up the fabric of our American society.
Yesterday's devastating attack on a Florida high school strikes fear into the hearts of families everywhere. It is particularly jarring to those of us who spend so much of our lives at schools and feel safe and at home there. While I cannot, in good conscience, promise that violence will never happen at our school, the systems we have in place strive for maximum safety and security without making the school feel like a prison in lockdown.
Jennifer Garner has made the phrase, “What’s in your wallet?” one of the most memorable expressions for an ad since “Can you hear me now?” While the advertising world has found memorable questions and witty characters like the Geico Gecko to remind us to buy a certain product, people concerned with human motivation have found that affirmations can set the tone for achievement.
The silver lining around much of the sadness experienced by the Shorecrest community in recent months has been the extraordinary levels of compassion, support, and generosity that students, teachers, alumni, and families have demonstrated. Denny Stypinski said that he thinks if he told Kristin Leary and the Shorecrest Cares group that he needed a car, they would want to know what make and model he wanted. He and many others are overwhelmed by the support the community offers in a time of need.
How can you have more than one priority? The Cambridge Dictionary defines the word priority as “something that is very important and must be dealt with before other things.” The word “priority” took on a plural attribute in the 20th century. We got so busy trying to do two things at once and juggling three, four, or five balls at a time or spinning 5, 6, or 7 plates at once, we changed the meaning of the word and concept of a priority. We now have priorities.
2017 ended with the tragic plane crash in Costa Rica that took the lives of Shorecrest family members, Mitch, Leslie, Hannah, and Ari Weiss. The memorial ceremonies, funerals, symbols of support like moments of silence and arm bands will be some of the ways we move through the grieving process for the loss of a family of very special individuals.