January 18, 2018

Birth Days and Celebrations

Welcome to the world, Gresham!
What a week to celebrate at Friends School!  We’ve had a literal ‘birth day’, our new Head of School is on campus, and tonight we celebrate our big 30th birthday bash!

After a day out of school for the celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we woke up to the news of a new baby to welcome into our Friends School family!  2nd grade teacher Caroline Long gave birth to beautiful Gresham Adele on Monday.  All reports are that both moms and baby are doing well. Caroline and her wife Katie Ruiz shared with us that Gresham was born at 8:39 a.m. and is a healthy 7lb 6oz and 19 inches.

With Caroline’s due date not for twelve more days, our staff had only just got started on our baby sweepstakes.  My guess was that baby Long would not arrive until January 30.  Congratulations to our accountant Dawn Peters who guessed the correct early date. (Trust an accountant to get the numbers right!) Thankfully, Caroline and Katie were well prepared for an early delivery.

We are so grateful to Caroline and her long-term substitute, Friends School parent Bryn Pennington, for all the work they have done planning for the transition.  Caroline completed most of her January conferences before we even returned to school.  For many of them, she traveled to her students’ homes.  Caroline and Bryn have been in communication for months planning for Caroline’s absence.  It was just at the end of last week that Caroline and Bryn held a 2nd grade parent meeting to explain and answer questions about the transition and Bryn kindly volunteered in the classroom all of last week.

Caroline will be out of school for twelve full weeks and we are all very confident that the class will continue to run seamlessly.  As one of our 2nd grade students wisely said on Tuesday, “I’m glad to have a new teacher because I can try and learn new things!" Bryn shared with me that she already adores the 2nd grade class and feels so honored to work with them.

On Thursday and today, Friday, we are thrilled to welcome our new Head of School Honor Taft and her family where we have been giving them a warm Friends School welcome!

Our incoming Head of School Honor Taft
Honor is excited to reconnect with many people in our community whom she met on visits to the school in August and September, as well as begin to get to know everyone whom she was unable to spend time with earlier. She is eager to immerse herself in our school community, to listen to our stories and get to know the core of who we are.  I loved what Honor wrote to us earlier in the week about  keeping the children at the center of our decisions. Our school will be in good hands!

As well as visiting classrooms and holding meet-and-greet events with parents and with teachers, Honor is doing the equally important work of meeting with current school leaders on our administrative team and from our Community Board to begin to learn how our school works, the successes we have had, and the challenges that lie ahead.

We are all thrilled to welcome Honor’s family to Boulder, her husband Doug and her children Gwyneth and Wyatt.  Gwyneth and Wyatt, who enter 2nd and 4th grades next year, will join their new classes for a day today, Friday. Her whole family will be at a community potluck brunch and class playdates on Saturday, as well as at our school’s 30th Birthday Party tonight.

And tonight is the night for the big event at Rayback Collective!

More than 300 of our closest friends will be on hand to celebrate 30 years of Friends School. One of our Founders, Bev Cole, and former Head of School, my predecessor Polly Donald, will join in the fun. This is a family affair, with children welcome and food trucks abounding.  We look forward to seeing alumni students and parents and former teachers and staff, all of whom have played such important roles in the school’s history. We welcome many of you, our current families, teachers and staff, and of course Honor who will be such an essential part of our future. My wife Steph, my younger daughter Leah, and I all hope to see you there!

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