We are almost through an historic school year, and I didn’t want it to end without taking a few moments to connect with our alumni community. Our Alumni Association has been an amazing partner this year, as Colorado Academy addressed the pandemic and important conversations about inclusivity and race. I would be remiss if I didn’t take time to say thank you.
Our goal this year was to continue our important work of creating independent thinkers. To be sure, this was challenging in the age of COVID-19. Our faculty and students had to make significant changes in how we learned and interacted. We valued those days when we were all together for in-person learning. Our students had to deal with periodic quarantines and online learning, cancelled games, and disruptions to valued traditions. Our Seniors had to go through a college admission process like no other. Our students experienced social unrest and protests for social justice. They witnessed an insurrection at the Capitol, in which horrific racist and anti-Semitic symbols were displayed. We worked with our students to help them understand that historic moment and allow them to give voice to their thoughts and beliefs. We experienced yet another mass shooting in Colorado, and now, we watch events unfold yet again in Minnesota, as protests follow the shooting of an unarmed black man by police.
This has been a year in which we have had to do so much more than simply teach fundamental academic skills; but, nurturing kind and courageous leaders has always been part of our mission.
Those of you who reached out to me this year concerning the events happening in larger society have been important voices in CA’s decision making. You have shared moments from decades ago, and from more recent times, that in other years might have remained undisclosed. And from our alumni of diverse backgrounds, I heard how CA, while a place you love, at times brought pain. You helped me and the CA community better understand what we need to do as a school to ensure that all students have the same experience while on campus. I am committed to making that happen. Next month I will be sharing an update on the work we have taken on this year to better address issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Our older alums continue to remind me of the importance of honoring our past and keeping it alive in the present day, so that future generations join this collective bond that only CA Mustangs share. I look forward to having reunions next fall, which will give us a chance to hold a formal naming ceremony for the Upper School, as we honor the legacy of former head of school Chuck Froelicher.
I have to spotlight Sue Burleigh, Director of Alumni, and the Alumni Association Board. Their creativity and commitment welcomed new ways to engage, albeit online. New virtual varieties of events, like book clubs and a wine tasting, allowed alumni from throughout the country, and even across oceans, to gather together. It was heartwarming to see you show up in little and big ways, and for that we are most appreciative.
They say that an organization’s alumni are the reflection of its past, representation of its present, and a link to its future. Each of you holds a special and unique place here at CA. Your conversations this year have helped me grow as the leader of this school, even as I complete my 13th year. Never hesitate to provide your insights, as that shines an important light on all that matters.