November 17, 2022

Dear St. Anne’s Families, 

Thanksgiving is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday. I get to sleep in a little, ride my bike in the cool air, eat delicious food, nap, watch sports, and play with my kids all day. . . and that is what you’re supposed to do? Sign me up! Yet, the reality is it is more than just a day to over-eat.

As I drove west on Hampden this morning, I saw mountains with morning sunshine blazing upon them. I thought to myself, Wow, I get to see this every day and work in a school where I can,hopefully, positively impact the lives of so many. My children spend some of their most formative years on top of that hill. A tremendous wave of gratitude came over me. 

During the all-school chapel last week, I spoke with the school community about gratitude and how gratitude is more than just saying thank you for something that someone gives you. It is a mindset that even when we have tough days, weeks, or even years, we have much to be thankful for. Having a home to go to with people who love and care for you is more than so many have in our world, country, state, and city.

Did you know it is scientifically proven that gratitude will make you happier? How? By actively thinking about the things for which you are grateful, you are actively thinking about the things that make you happy. In turn, this act makes you feel happy.

My college lacrosse coach, a member of the Mohawk Nation, used to say to us during early morning practice, “What are you upset about? You woke up today. You’re healthy today. You are living your life today. Be grateful for it.” I used to roll my eyes every time he said that, but now, I get it. I asked the students to write a note to someone about something they are grateful for and either give it to that person or post it in their locker or at home as a reminder to be grateful. I plan on doing the same myself. 

No matter one's faith tradition or other beliefs, I believe gratitude is a big piece of any core value. As we head into the holiday season and I come to know and understand more about this school community and its students, teachers, and parents, I have a tremendous sense of faith in St. Anne’s to know we are all here for the right reasons and will continue to grow our children together as a community. For that, I am grateful.

Have a wonderful and grateful Thanksgiving.

Go Cyclones!