Sanford’s current strategic plan is titled Bolder, Brighter, Stronger. Those words resonate with me as we head into our new school year. We open the 2019–20 school year at Sanford in a bolder and brighter position of strength.
As we approach the end of July, memories of the 2018–2019 school year are fresh in our hearts and minds. Whether we look back at Commencement and closing exercises, a phenomenal year in athletics which included two state championships, mesmerizing performing arts events, outstanding student success in academics, or the countless ways in which our community served others, 2018–2019 was a wonderful year. Before you read the remainder of this message, which features news about the upcoming school year, please take a few minutes to watch this Commencement 2019 video, created by Sanford alumnus Jordan West '18.
As many of you know, my office is in Sanford Hall, which my assistant Loren Yates and I share with the Sanford admission team. Whenever possible, I try to meet prospective parents so that they can put a name and face with Sanford’s head of school. This quick exchange usually happens after each family's campus tour. I like to ask parents for their impressions of Sanford after spending 60 to 90 minutes observing our students and teachers in action. The response I hear most frequently goes something like this: “Wow, your campus is amazing! And everybody seems so nice and friendly. You can tell your people want to be here!”
Sanford’s Upper Schoold Dean of Students, Assistant Athletic Director, and Head Boys’ Basketball Coach Stan Waterman has a quote I love: “Tradition Never Graduates.” Of course, Stan is referring to the success of Sanford’s basketball programs, which feature teams that graduate terrific talent each year but continue to excel with new faces—through many years and even generations of Sanford students.
Around this time each year, college sweatshirts begin appearing throughout the Upper School. The tradition at Sanford is that students are permitted to wear a school's gear once they are admitted to that particular college or university. I’m always amazed at the variety of colleges our students submit applications to and the plethora of enrollment offers they receive.
Recently we wrapped up the first semester of the 2018–19 school year. As such, the elective I teach, Leadership and Public Speaking, came to a close. My time with the ten students in this elective course was such a joy, truly a highlight of my year. I thought I’d share a few thoughts and reflections about this class and the students with whom I had the pleasure to work with this semester.