Leadership Blog

To Everyone In the BDS Village, Thank You

Post date June 10th, 2021
Here it is—my last Scoop message of the year. As I consider all that has transpired over these last fifteen months, I am overwhelmed with immense gratitude for this entire community and all it has taken to get us to the close of this school year. There are many idioms one might choose to describe the power of our mighty community, but around here, the notion that it takes a village to raise a child is one that our school has long embraced. In this case, of course, it is not one child but 311. The village—large, far-reaching, and full of caring, loving villagers—has been on overdrive to guide...read more

A Stack of Summer Reading Awaits

Post date June 4th, 2021
Carrying on a post-Memorial Day weekend tradition, you will find the start of my summer reading in this issue of the Scoop. As many of you may recall, I set a goal of reading 13 books in 13 weeks—a book-a-week from Memorial Day weekend and through Labor Day. I am still striving to hit my goal—perhaps 2021 will be the year! For those of us who stayed local, this past rainy and chilly weekend provided the opportunity to read; perhaps you were able to get started on some of your own summer reading. Before I share my list, though, I will take a moment to honor Eric Carle, a Massachusetts native,...read more

A View From My Window

Post date May 28th, 2021
For those new to BDS this year, the location of my office has changed. For my first four years here, I occupied the office at the end of the administrative hallway in the Schoolhouse, where Ms. Parfit, our director of admissions, now resides. The path there is marked by blue handprints, emblems of a tradition that honors the arrival of each new student to the school. Each one dips their hand in blue paint and adds a handprint to the mural that is equal part art and community statement. In September, we will have a backlog to attend to as two groups of students add their prints to the wall—...read more

Empowering Meaningful Contribution

Post date May 21st, 2021
Each time I consider the school’s mission statement and its third critical phrase—“empowering meaningful contribution with our six core values”—I immediately think of Community Service Day. Today was dedicated to serving others under the watchful eye and thoughtful organization of Koreen McQuilton and a team of faculty. While the activities were varied—making blankets, dog toys, paracord bracelets, and greeting cards; gardening and farm work to help address food insecurity; trail maintenance and cleanup; plant kit fundraisers; and furniture painting—their purpose was singular. They were all...read more

Honoring Faculty Milestones & Retirements

Post date May 14th, 2021
It is a joyful tradition at Belmont Day School that the Annual Meeting of the Corporation and Parents’ Association Meeting held each May begins with a tribute to those faculty celebrating a milestone of their tenure at BDS. Beginning at 10 years and at every five year interval beyond, faculty members are acknowledged for their commitment to excellence over time. This year, we were lucky to honor five faculty members who combined for ninety years of dedicated service to the school. Additionally, we acknowledged both Catherine David and Alice Henry for their service as they retire at the end of...read more

At the Confluence of Mother's Day and Faculty Appreciation Week

Post date May 7th, 2021
Stay in education long enough, and you are certain to get this question asked of you: Who was the most influential teacher in your life? For me, the answer is quick and relatively easy. There are two. The first is my mother. When I think back, especially to my early childhood and upper elementary years, she was there. While I was trying to figure out how to add fractions, she was trying to understand me and how I learned. She had many wonders: For a child to whom things seemed to come so quickly, why does he forget to put his shoes on in the morning? After getting help to navigate his social...read more

The Bedrock of Great Teaching

Post date April 30th, 2021
If you reflect on the teachers at Belmont Day who had the greatest impact on your child or children, there is a very strong possibility that they began their career as a teaching associate, intern, or teaching fellow. My career in education, like many of my colleagues’, began with an internship after a career change. Today, as a head of school, I carry with me some critically important lessons from those earliest days as a new educator–how to manage a classroom, how to frame curriculum, how to apply an equitable lens to my work, and how to construct (and then deliver) an arc of programming...read more

Capstone 2021

Post date April 16th, 2021
If there could be a moment that marks a return to some semblance of life before the pandemic, may it be Capstone, our school's programmatic crown jewel. We found a way to safely bring our entire eighth grade into the PAC—seated 6' apart, masked, and ever attentive to the privilege of the moment—so that this key community experience would be shared as a class after a year of cohorted distance. And how the Class of 2021 has seized this moment. Capstone is a clear manifestation of our mission. Inspire and challenge? Check. Each student has spent the year dedicated to a topic of their choosing,...read more

A Walk in the Woods

Post date April 9th, 2021
If you look to the left as you drive up the driveway, just before Far Field begins, you will see a structure—I liken it to a wooden version of an old VW bus sitting driverless in the woods—constructed by our intrepid fourth graders. The construction is a showcase of student imagination during recess on these wonderfully mild early spring days. It is also a reminder of how nature and the outdoors play an important instructional role here at Belmont Day. A glance at the interior courtyard, and you feel as though you have stumbled into a nature exhibit at the Boston Children’s Museum, with trees...read more

Hope Springs Eternal

Post date April 2nd, 2021
Mid-morning yesterday, I realized that I had forgotten to wear my Red Sox jersey to school to celebrate Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. I was disappointed to miss a chance to celebrate the Sox’s return—an annual ritual that reminds me that warmer weather, flowers in bloom, and glorious sunshine are on their way. And then, with the game’s rainout, I was given a second chance; this morning, as I got dressed for school, I donned my Nomar Garciaparra #5 jersey and will treat today like my chance to do Opening Day right. As I reflect on all that Opening Day means to me, I return to the...read more