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.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Andover, Brooks, Horace Mann and Loyola

Yesterday and last week, in my continuing quest to visit every Saint David's alum in his high school before he graduates, I had the great pleasure of visiting Daniel '17 at Andover; Liam '15, Finn '16, and Sean '16 at Brooks in Massachusetts; Ryan '15, Rohan '16, Ben '16, and Spencer '17 at Horace Mann; and Marco '15, Brij '16, Tristan '16, Nicholas '16, Clark '18, and Nicholas '18 at Loyola, here in the city.

The boys were thriving in their schools and I returned with an incredible cache of intelligence regarding improvements we can make to our program, along with things they'd never want to see change.

On the Massachusetts trip, I was delighted to have Mr. Imbelli along. Somehow, he talked the airline rep into giving us extra legroom--free! The boys were thrilled to see him too.

Horace Mann, NYC

Andover, MA

Brooks, MA

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Boys Visit Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center

Yesterday, members of the Headmaster's Community Club's Green Group and I visited with residents at Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center, a few blocks north of Saint David's. The boys and the residents enjoyed participating in a holiday paper snowman and ornament making activity as they got to know each other better.

This is an entirely voluntary club, which takes place after school hours and entails several visits to Cooke so that the boys are able to build connections and become more comfortable with the elderly residents, several of whom face challenges.

So many boys volunteer for this club that we need to make visits in two groups. Prior to Thanksgiving, the Shrimped Fried Rice Group served a Thanksgiving dinner to the residents. (Yes, the boys select the names for their groups!)

These visits to Cardinal Cooke exemplify the school motto "that they be good men," as Saint David's emphasizes the importance of being of good character, and of doing good for others.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Odds vs. Evens

This year, the annual pre-Thanksgiving Odds vs. Evens competition featured both a soccer match in Central Park and a basketball game in our new Price Family Gymnasium.

Both teams played hard and well, but Odds proved victorious, with final scores of 6-1 in soccer and 96-73 in basketball.

Alums on both teams enjoyed seeing their fellow Saint David's graduates, coaches and former teachers at the games and earlier at the Alumni/Faculty Thanksgiving lunch. They were in awe of our new facilities, and several were thrilled to play in the gymnasium.

It's always great to welcome so many alumni back to Saint David's!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Young Alumni Thanksgiving Tradition

A night to remember! Yesterday, nearly 150 high school age alumni joined our current eighth graders and several faculty and staff for one of my favorite Saint David's Thanksgiving traditions, the Young Alumni Chapel and Dinner. It was incredible demonstration of camaraderie and brotherhood among our younger alumni.

Early in the evening, which was organized by Assistant Director of Development John Dearie '95, we held dedications for the Class of 2017 and 2018 legacy gifts, both related to our expansion. The Class of 2017's was the restoration of the Graham House Mosaic. The Class of 2018's, the new Eighth Grade Commons, which the boys named Il Duomo and was dedicated in memory of Rovena Kilkeary.

The boys packed the Chapel to hear the Chapel talk given by Fernando Guimaraes, who graduated in 2010. Fernando focused on the importance of self-discipline, hard work, and integrity; sharing that despite mistakes he may have made when younger, the lessons and values of Saint David's helped him get back on track.

"In order to go back to the good man Saint David's taught me to be, I needed to be disciplined, I needed to work hard, and Saint David's set me up for this," he said. He embraced that mindset, was admitted to Brown University, and graduated with a degree in philosophy and history.

Honest and forthright, Fernando told the boys they would be challenged, that their choices and decisions matter, and that it is far too easy to get distracted. He urged them to stay focused: "Ask yourself who it is you want to be and work hard to be that person, a man of integrity." Fernando gave all of the boys in the Chapel wise advice, all the more potent coming from a fellow Saint David's boy,  just a few years their senior.

Over the delicious dinner that followed Chapel, our eighth graders were able to talk to young alumni at high schools they are interested in attending.

To close the event, Student Council President, Paul-Alexander L. '18,  presented Save the Children with the check from the Class of 2018's fundraising efforts in support of Saint David's Kalina School in Ethiopia.

Thanksgiving is about taking the time to express gratitude and recognize one's blessings. I am grateful for the exceptional faculty and staff who dedicate themselves to our boys every day, to our committed and loving parents, and our inspiring student body. Last night, I was particularly grateful for the fine young men who returned to their newly expanded school to attend Chapel and break bread together. Ut viri boni sint. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Exploring Jobs and Careers

On Friday, I visited the Omega boys' Career Fair where I met with future doctors, soccer players, race car drivers, bus drivers--even a spy!

The boys shared their original career study books, which contained colorful illustrations and facts about the careers they selected. With great animation, they displayed their knowledge and were eager to answer questions posed by faculty and parent visitors. 

During the fall, the class studied various careers and their roles in the community. They welcomed parent visitors to their classroom to talk about their careers; and went on several field trips, including one to the Queens County Farm Museum where they learned about the farmer's role in our community.

The Exploring Jobs and Careers study engages our young students in the type of active, hands-on learning that boys love and which deepens understanding.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Turkey (Run) Time!

It's almost Thanksgiving, and minds are set on turkey. At Saint David's it also means time for a favorite tradition--the Second Grade Turkey Run.

The air was cool and crisp last Tuesday when our second graders raced through Riverside Park in our annual Turkey Run.

To prepare for the 450-meter dash, the boys trained with their coaches during their sports periods.  They were ready! All the boys eagerly anticipated the big day, and were energized further by parents and siblings who cheered them on.

Congratulations to the winners, and to all the boys who prepared so well for the event. Well done, boys!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Celebration! A Dream Realized

November 12, 2018. What a day in the life of Saint David's School!

From the early morning ceremony for the pre-primary grades, to the official blessing and Ribbon Cutting in Price Family Gymnasium, to the tours and wonderful evening performance in the Otto-Bernstein Performing Arts Theatre, organized by Tom and Rita Kitt and featuring our boys sharing the stage with Broadway performers. A spectacular, magical day!
Spearheaded by Director of Development Maureen Barry, Monday's activities were a full-out celebration of a 46-year dream realized as we welcomed 650 members of our community to participate in the several events marking our newly expanded and consolidated school. 
As a school we have moved east since our beginning, and our consolidation and expansion on 89th Street not only keeps Saint David's right where it was founded 67 years ago, it ensures the school's ability to fulfill the potential of its program, of its faculty and staff, and by extension, the full potential of each of its boys.  Omnium nobis.
It was certainly a day to celebrate. It was also a day to express gratitude.“Gratitude,” Cicero tells us, “is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

To Headmaster Hume and the Trustees of 1972 for their foresight in purchasing Graham House, and to all who have come before us. To the early donors who got this project off the ground and to all the donors who have brought us this far. To our visionary Board of Trustees and the parents who served on committees related to this project, to the administration, faculty and staff for their unwavering professionalism throughout three compressions over two years and three summers, and to our construction team principals.

When our Board Chair Dan Connolly, ’77, our Architect Sam White ’60 and our Student Council Officers Peter K., William R., and Taylor K. stepped forward to cut the ribbon and officially open our new campus in front of hundreds of boys, parents, and alumni families, I was struck again by the truth that none of this could have happened without a cast of thousands.
It is my honor and privilege to be a member of such a strong, caring community that loves Saint David's School and has always been committed to its mission's ultimate aspiration: that they be good men.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Faculty vs. Boys

Last Friday afternoon it was Faculty vs. Eighth Grade for an after school soccer match in Central Park.

It was fabulous fun for all, and the match ended with a Faculty win by one goal (3-2).  Coaches Russo, Arias and Byrne scored for the faculty, and Diego R. '19 scored both goals for the students.

The last time the faculty played the eighth graders was in 2004. Nice to revive this community building tradition! A huge shout out to Mr. Doocey for spearheading the entire program and organizing such a talented Faculty Team--who would have thought!