Celebrating Our Identities

We all got our hands a little dirty yesterday, as we came together to celebrate Unity Day’s message of kindness, inclusivity, and belonging. Tying into this year’s theme of “growing together,” our Dragons planted more than 300 hyacinth, crocus, tete-a-tete narcissus, and daffodil bulbs around the campus. Our students also painted kindness rocks for a coming installation on our new back patio and heard a special chapel talk from ES and MS Counselor Meghan Keller, reminding each of us that we are an important piece of the puzzle of our community. However, the lynchpin of the day was a special “Who Am I?” collage.

Each student was asked to make a collage representing their identity.  Like many of you, my family had many conversations around the dinner table this week about what that word truly means.  My wife, Sandy, and I encouraged our sons Jace and Trey to think about the different parts of their background, their hobbies, and their favorite memories. We discussed ways we could visually represent those ideas in their collages. These conversations were a nice respite from the normal, “How was your day?”, “Good” that sometimes dominate at the end of a busy day. 

Yesterday, as I walked around and talked to our students about their collages, I was so intrigued by the reasons our Dragons chose certain artifacts and the stories that went along with those artifacts. The works the students began to create yesterday will be framed and displayed around the school and will highlight the rich and varied identities that make up our school community.

Helping our students understand and embrace their identities is a critical component of helping them become kind, confident, and prepared.  Each of our students brings their own gifts and heritage to our community, and we want our students to celebrate the parts of their identity that make them unique. Our Dragons shared how much they enjoyed this project, because they had the opportunity to learn more about themselves and also the chance to share this information with their classmates. 

This is an ongoing process. The collages will be finished during the course of the next several weeks, but our work to help our students understand and embrace their identities will continue throughout this year and years to come. 

Danny Vogelman

Head of School