Leadership Blog

Touchdown for Perseverance

Post date February 26th, 2021
As February quietly comes to a close and March begins—like a lion, as they say—it is exciting to consider longer days, warmer temperatures, more time outdoors, and a long-awaited vaccine. Beyond that, I am also excited, or perhaps, more precisely, moved by something far, far away: NASA’s successful landing of the Perseverance Rover on Mars last week. Every few years, an eighth grade student will choose Mars or space exploration as their Capstone topic of study, and I am always fascinated to learn more about galactic pioneering. Invariably, the student presentations have inspired the audience...read more

The Exhausting Effort of Trying to Bend the Future to Our Will

Post date February 12th, 2021
Maybe it’s the time of year. Mid-February often feels this way in schools. Perhaps it’s the relentlessness of this virus and the frustration that—for all of the medical advances we hear about each day—our lived experience hasn’t changed in the ways we have hoped for. Maybe it’s cabin fever, the piles of snow amplifying that we have been cabin confined since last March. Whatever the reason may be, I find myself now, in conversations with others and in my mind, actively trying to bend the future to our collective will. In considering the environmental exhaustion we are experiencing—that ‘I-don’...read more

Discerning Loyalty

Post date February 4th, 2021
Talk to any local sports fan, and they will quickly tell you that there is no middle ground on how one might view the departure of a beloved superstar athlete to another franchise. For those who remember the 2004 Red Sox, you are likely to remember the speedy and much-beloved center fielder for that team, Johnny Damon. Indeed, if you lived here then, you would be hard-pressed not to remember that team of self-described ‘idiots’ who brought a World Series championship to Fenway Park for the first time in a cursed 86 years. One year later, following the 2005 season, Johnny Damon would leave the...read more

A Reluctant Walk Down Memory Lane

Post date January 29th, 2021
Prepare yourself, everyone. My best guess is that narratives about ‘all that we have lost’ and how things used to be will begin to dominate social media platforms, newscasts, and newspapers and pop up in the reminders on our smartphones in February. February 2020 was the last month, locally, when things still ‘felt normal.’ We were still going out to restaurants, live sporting events, concerts, theater performances, and places of worship and enjoying countless other things that now seem like vestiges of another life. So much has changed since then. As such, I offer some guidance on navigating...read more

Verses of Inspiration

Post date January 22nd, 2021
Amanda Gorman, a young, Black-identified woman, and the first National Youth Poet Laureate was one of the brightest lights of the Presidential Inauguration this week. She recited her powerful poem, “The Hill We Climb,” and her mastery of language at 22-years-old is inspiring. I only recently learned that she grew up with a speech impediment, which, based on her performance, makes it all the more remarkable. I was an English and theater major in college and spent the first eighteen years of my educational career teaching English to middle school students. I have always been drawn to the power...read more

The Lessons I’m Carrying Into 2021

Post date January 14th, 2021
There is a tradition that carries with it a delightful bit of mysterious folklore in our sixth grade at the turn of each year. Since arriving at Belmont Day fourteen years ago, sixth grade teachers Dean Spencer and Kaleen Moriarty encourage their students to think about the things from the past year that they would like to leave in the past and to then symbolically move on from them. The practice involves students writing their memories down on small pieces of paper, and then, in a highly controlled and entirely safe manner, they build a small bonfire into which they throw those papers. The...read more

The Violence in Our Capital Brings Challenges, Lessons to Our Doors

Post date January 8th, 2021
How I had hoped this would be the space where I might share my reflections on the important lessons to be taken from 2020, even as we rush into the new year with renewed hope and optimism. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share those reflections next week. The world beyond our walls has intervened once more, this time with violence and an assault on our democracy. So I will take time now to address it and clarify why such an assault matters to the work we do at Belmont Day. Since the inception of our middle school, our eighth grade students have traveled to the nation’s capital each June. In many...read more

Turning the Page: A Challenging Year and a Stack of Unread Books

Post date December 18th, 2020
Happy Holidays everyone! I am so pleased to send you off into winter break with the knowledge that together, we have successfully and safely navigated these unique and challenging times and made it to the cusp of 2021. Of course, that is a testament to you, your belief in our school, our excellent faculty’s commitment, and our students’ resiliency. Thank you for everything you have done to help get us here. As we look to the new year, there are many things I am left to reflect on and reckon with, among them, the mounting pile of books on my bedside table. As some of you know, I begin each...read more

Closer and Closer: Improving Our Remote Learning Experience

Post date December 11th, 2020
Greetings at home, everyone. I hope this finds you well and preparing for yet another unique holiday season. However you choose to spend the break, we wish you safety, health, and joy! This week, I offer a window into how the past two weeks of remote instruction have felt different and better than the way things felt in the spring. I begin with this important note: the power and benefit of onsite instruction are undeniable. We have no plans to substitute that experience based on the positive experiences I report on here. The power of professional development I frequently get this question...read more

Offering Gratitude (Pandemic-style)

Post date November 19th, 2020
A year ago, in this space, I wrote about the tips I had learned from Priya Parker in her book, T he Art of Gathering , as we looked ahead to gathering with family and friends to celebrate all that we are thankful for. Since then, this invisible virus has tainted the idea of gathering itself, requiring us to weigh the merits of coming together in person against the health and safety of ourselves and those we love. So, what to make of this year's celebration? Knowing that it would break my parents' hearts, I nonetheless had to tell them that we'd rather be safe than sorry, and so we'll be apart...read more