A joyful All-School Assembly set the tone on the first day of the 2022-2023 school year. More than 1,000 students, many faculty and staff members, and countless families gathered August 23, 2022, on the west lawn of the historic Welborn House to celebrate the start of the first “normal” fall since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Marking his 15th year at CA, Head of School Dr. Mike Davis presided, noting to a cheering audience that without masks and other COVID-19 precautions, “This day feels so good!”
Davis welcomed students new to CA, urging them to stand for a moment of applause. He explained, “As you join Mustang Nation—larger and more diverse than we’ve ever been—you will find this is a very welcoming place. I promise, whatever nervousness you may be feeling today, we’re here to support you in every way we can. This school is about helping people grow as they learn about themselves and the world. There are so many adults here to ensure your success.”
The Head of School then turned to the youngest students sitting near the podium to ask them what they were looking forward to this year.
“Field trips!” one exclaimed.
“The playground,” another said.
One student contributed, “Making new friends!”
“Younger Buddies,” another added.
Davis then turned to the Seniors with the same prompt.
“Rock band!” one said to raucous cheers.
It was then time for more serious talk. Davis told the audience about ongoing work to enhance safety and security on campus, and introduced Director of Campus Safety & Security Julia Shoun and the rest of her team.
“Security isn’t just about locking doors,” Davis said. “It’s about caring for one another, looking out for our friends and classmates, and seeking help when we need it.”
Reminding listeners of the CA mission—creating curious, kind, and adventurous learners and leaders—Davis urged the audience to be intentional about living CA’s values. “Let’s make an effort to be kind to each other, and lean into new experiences and challenges. Raise your hand in class; engage someone in conversation who has a different perspective than you do.”
Davis introduced new faculty and staff members, including numerous CA alumni, and then announced the moment many in the audience had been waiting for: the reading of the names of all 105 members of the Senior class. Each stood for applause as Davis read, and afterwards, the Twelfth Graders chanted in unison, “Who are we? 2023!”
Davis reminded the Seniors that they help determine the tone and culture of the school. Judging by the hearty welcome the Class of 2023 offered to Ninth Graders earlier in the morning, he noted, the year promises to be inclusive and fun.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Davis concluded. “Bring your best every day. We shape our reality by how we respond to the world. Let’s not let things get us down. Let’s reach out for help. And always know that you have a lot of people cheering for you.”