Welcome to the Headmaster's Blog where you'll find updates, thoughts, and events regarding Saint David's School, the education of boys, and other items of interest. This is by no means meant to be a complete account of all that happens at Saint David's. Please refer to the school's website for more complete details -- it's more a Headmaster's musings.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
They weren't shocked.
Earlier in the day the boys had assumed their roles as forensic detectives for a week-long summer camp offered by our school in partnership with the DNA Learning Center of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
In this hands-on program, the boys are using techniques that real CSI experts employ to investigate a "crime scene." They are collecting and analyzing evidence such as fibers, fingerprints, hair, and blood, and learning about pathology, fire science, and forensic psychology through engaging investigations and activities.
I am looking forward to the end of the week, when the boys will explain what they've learned to visiting parents and family members!
The two-week trip provides our boys the opportunity to partake in a Spanish language immersion experience that augments what they have learned in Spanish classes at Saint David's through our school-wide Spanish language program, which commences in Pre-K.
The Salamanca trip is an example of how learning at Saint David's extends beyond the walls of our school building; the world, indeed, is our campus.
As I said in my address to the graduates, I have witnessed the growth of these boys from their earliest days: I watched them play in our Kindergarten courtyard, dubbed them knights in the Third Grade, and walked the streets of Italy with them this spring on the Eighth Grade Italian Study Tour.
Commencement is less about endings and more about beginnings. As our graduates assume their new identities as Saint David's alumni, we wish them well, and forever hold them near. I hope they will visit often to participate in the life of the school, for Saint David's will always be their second home. Ut Viri Boni Sint.
The night began with Dr. Maiocco's Chapel talk, given for our reunion classes and faculty and staff. Don lauded Ms. Peavy for the work she has done with the faculty over the years. Dr. Maiocco also spoke of the school's longtime second headmaster, David Hume, who passed away in February, noting that it was Mr. Hume who penned our alma mater's mission: "that they be good men." He closed by calling those present to "pray to honor David and all who have shaped our past."
Because Ms. Peavy loves words and wordplay, my tribute took the form of a poem that I wrote, influenced by the ancient Greek poet Pindar.
Monday, June 8, 2015
Richard's talk focused on how to manage people and the importance of viewing your client with knowledge and respect. "Hospitality is a dialogue," he noted, and relayed the story of how the Union Square Cafe, rated as a good restaurant with good food and good service in 1985, rose to the status of the most popular restaurant in 1997, according to Zagat.
This important advice is summed up in his quote from Maya Angelou, which emphasizes how vital it is for a business to build positive relationships with its customers: "People will forget what you said, what you did, but never forget how you made them feel."
Richard's talk was followed by a reception featuring professional affinity groups led by Ted Casey '83 (technology and digital entertainment), Mauro Maccioni '87 (hospitality), Richard Petrocelli (finance), and Kenneth M. Wolff '86 (law).
The Saint David's School Networking Event, organized by the Alumni Council led by Arthur (Sam) Samuels '84, provides the opportunity for all in our community to network together and support each other.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
But research expo it was, and it was a fantastic display of the third graders' culminating project on their study of culture.
Working in teams, the boys selected a culture they wanted to research, with each boy responsible for two aspects (for example, food and education). Assisted by our school librarians Gwen Kaplan and Gretchen King, the boys learned the process of conducting research on their topics. They worked on their projects, which also involved expository writing, creative crafts, poster design, and public speaking, under the guidance of teachers Claire Lescop, Jennifer Kim, Liza Helwig, and Amanda Rathbun.
Beyond the obvious efforts the boys had made to make their presentations stand out, what struck me most was their level of engagement. When asked a question about why they selected a particular topic or what surprised them about their selected culture, or what was most challenging about the project, the boys' eyes would light up and they were eager to share their learning and their thoughts. Their classmates were equally excited to share with each other.
This is the type of active, creative, project-based learning that we incorporate throughout the school program at Saint David's.