Brendan Largay
Brendan Largay, Head of School

BrendanLargay, Head of School

Our Culture, Curiosity Matter: Thoughts to Send Us Into Summer

Happy summer, and welcome to the final Scoop Opening Message for the 2023-24 school year. It has been another tremendous year of growth, discovery, and abundant joy. As our eighth grade students prepare to become Belmont Day’s 97th graduating class, I look forward to the reflections and wisdom three graduates will share at the ceremony. A tradition since the Class of 2004—Belmont Day’s first eighth grade class—every student writes a graduation speech. A group of faculty volunteers reads them and selects three to be presented.

Our “graduating” trustees also have the opportunity to reflect and share their wisdom at the final board meeting of the school year. Members of the board of trustees who have concluded their service to the school offer their insights to guide the board’s continued work next year and beyond. As it happened, this year’s group of departing trustees includes one of Belmont Day’s longest-tenured members.

Brit Dewey P ’19 ’21 has served on the Belmont Day board for thirteen of the fifteen years that she has been a part of our community, and when she talks, people listen. A quick look at the history books reveals that Brit has served on every board committee at some point; she chaired the hiring committee that brought me to Belmont Day and chaired the board itself. Suffice it to say, everyone was rapt with attention when she began her parting remarks. 

We can all benefit from her wise words, and I sincerely appreciate Brit and the eight years we have shared at Belmont Day. Many thanks to Brit for permitting me to share them with you:

To start, we live in a particularly challenging world today. What and who do you trust anymore? People don’t trust institutions today. There is incredible societal and global fragmentation—and even denial of truth. Mission and values are more important than ever. Use Belmont Day’s mission and values as powerful guides as you create this institution’s future. Seek to inspire trust in all that you do.

Culture matters. Be very intentional as you consider what Belmont Day’s culture is and what it should be. You are stewards of Belmont Day School’s culture. As we consider our priorities, it should always be about people first. Culture promotes an environment where people can or can’t be the best versions of themselves.  

We are stronger and better together as a community. A strong community allows you to be part of something bigger than yourself and to do collectively what’s not possible on your own. It allows you to really dream big and realize those dreams. We have realized big dreams at BDS in recent years and can continue to do so in the years ahead. Do everything you can to have a strong community.

One of my work colleagues, Rawi Abdelal, recently shared this idea: “We are living in a moment where we have suspended curiosity and moved quickly to judgment.” I think Rawi is spot on. Be curious, suspend judgment, be open, be willing to learn, and be willing to change your mind. Change is the constant in life. And, with change, every challenge creates opportunities. Have courage and conviction in evaluating these opportunities and deciding to seize them.

As the school year ends and summer offers a slower pace, I hope you will take the time to reflect on Brit’s sage counsel and imagine the future and how you and your children will contribute to it.

May you have a restful and joyful summer. See you in the fall, BDS.

BrendanLargay, Head of School

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