A head of school rarely gets to experience a first week of school the way I was able to enjoy last week at Carlisle. Not only did I get to fulfill all the “normal” head duties, such as presiding over Opening Ceremonies and waving in morning traffic, for the first time in six years I was tasked with welcoming a group of students to a classroom.
Our Advanced Placement Psychology instructor, Juliana Carter, delivered her first child in early August and will thus miss the first month and a half of school. I am filling in for her, and she has prepared me so well to lead this class (and a good thing, too, as my last foray into a psychology class took place longer ago than I care to admit) that I have been able to focus on the students. And I can’t tell you how much fun I am having with them as together we charge into this brave new world of unfamiliar subject matter. So, thank you, Mrs. Carter and students, for this grand opportunity.
My other unusual task popped up rather suddenly toward the end of July when we learned we would have an opening for house parents at one of our international residence houses adjacent to campus. While we continue our search (and please feel free to point people our way!), I am substituting as house parent for four outstanding young men from China. Henry was with us last year and is the veteran of the crew. Robin, Steven, and Richard, all juniors, came to us as a “package deal” from a school in Traverse City, Michigan. “Too cold,” they said — and that institution’s loss became our gain. We are having a grand time getting to know each other, and I am experiencing yet another facet of Carlisle.
And so, two problems have become fortuitous chances for this head of school to delve even more deeply into this community that I already appreciate so much. Happy New (School) Year to everyone! Let’s make it a great one.