Each morning, I welcome a parade of mask-wearing children channeling their inner cat, dog, panda bear, tiger, mermaid, unicorn, princess, and action hero. Colors and geometric patterns add to the tapestry of wild imagination...
Through thoughtful planning and a mission-focused approach, the SAFE (St. Anne’s Future in Education) Planning Team has developed a reopening plan that prioritizes health and safety, community and well-being, and academic excellence.
I write to you today as, once again, our country reels with the devastating reality of pernicious and persistent racial injustice and violence. These are difficult and polarizing times, and while we are all struggling with feelings of anger, worry and sadness, for many people these are not new feelings. It is particularly wrenching that our community cannot be together to reaffirm our commitment to one another, to our founding principles of inclusion, and to the work we must continue to do moving forward, but it’s important that we do so in other ways.
From St. Anne’s inception, Mother Irene and the Sisters built our school to affirm the growth of young people from all faiths and abilities. The Sisters did not discriminate: children were known and loved unconditionally; they still are. Our history inspires us, and today our mission, core values, religious tradition, Portrait of a Graduate, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion compel us to further their example. We must continue to grow good people who are also courageous enough to stand in support of one another against violence, racism and prejudice of all kinds and who will work together to create a more just society. As always, we adults must model the way, and as always, this begins with our own education and commitment.
In the coming days, you will be hearing from Kendall Early '05 and Kelsey Smith '01, Co-Directors of Community and Inclusion, with resources and invitations for discussion about what we are seeing, hearing, and reading in the news about the latest racist attacks, including the peaceful and violent reactions that have followed. While summer is upon us, our students will continue to have our support as needed.
In the meantime, I want to reiterate St. Anne’s commitment to know and love every one of our students unconditionally and to further educate ourselves and our students in order to support those who, for too long, have experienced the compounding trauma of systemic racial injustice. The faculty and staff and I continue to lean into this work, and I thank you for partnering with us as we do.
With faith in our community and with prayers for all who are hurting right now, Bill