Dear Stevenson Families,
With the end of school arriving and summer plans taking shape, this is my first opportunity to update current families on significant developments and plans for the summer, and to welcome our new families to the Stevenson community. We always simmer with anticipation at receiving our new students in the fall, while we take time to reflect on what we have witnessed in the last year as our community resurfaced from an era of disruption and change.
One of the true joys of working in education is the privilege of witnessing the growth and development of the young people we work with. Each generation of students travel unique paths, none more so than our current population. Watching this graduating senior class navigate four years of global upheaval and its associated challenges with observable bravery and maturity, I remain in awe of what they have become—through all they have overcome. When we invite seniors to voice their experiences at the end of the school year, we do not offer them direction, yet they return to the same themes every year: they speak of bravery, of being met where they were when they arrived here, of discovery and reinvention, of pivotal Stevenson moments that clarified their vision of themselves and their goals, and of teachers and peers along the way who helped them meet and overcome personal challenges. The wisdom, humility, and self-awareness of these students is awe-inspiring. Clearly, the School Prayer’s exhortation “that we may be brave in peril, constant in tribulation” resonates with them: they have done more to model the Prayer’s aspirations than we could have possibly hoped for. We wish this graduating class well on their journeys, knowing that they are truly ready for whatever comes next.
With summer upon us, it is time to reflect on successes and opportunities for growth, to rest and integrate the year that was, and to prepare for the year to come. On that point, I want to remind our families about the importance of keeping your child engaged in our summer curriculum. Especially for our new students, the summer reading program offers the first means for your child to connect with the larger, vibrant Stevenson community. Our teachers have taken care to fashion an enjoyable and stimulating summer learning program across all three divisions, grades PK-12, and our lower and middle division teachers have designed plans that maintain and bolster your child’s skills in math, literacy, world languages, and other disciplines.
We have broadened our leadership structure at the Carmel Campus for the Fall to include both a lower division head and a middle division head. I am delighted to announce, as the first report of forthcoming personnel changes, that Ms. Nifemi Ogunsuyi has accepted our offer to be the new head of our lower division. From each of our interactions with Ms. Ogunsuyi, she has an unmistakable ability to connect with children, and the sum of her universally stellar references and many layers of teaching and administrative experience made it plain that we have brought a remarkably talented leader to Stevenson School. Let me be the first to welcome her into the Stevenson community.
The finalists for the position of middle division head also received positive feedback for their curriculum expertise and leadership experience, but the School ultimately felt that none of the candidates was the proper fit. Therefore, I am thankful to Molly Bozzo for graciously offering to serve as our interim middle division head for the 2023/24 academic year while we continue our search for the right new leader. I am incredibly grateful for Molly’s willingness to step in and serve the School in this way, as her seasoned, expert guidance will help us achieve a smooth transition next fall. We will have additional news about faculty and staff appointments to announce in the coming months, so expect to hear further updates from us later this summer.
Finally, I would like to thank all of you who participated in the Stevenson School research work conducted on both campuses over the past month. Your valuable feedback given in communications focus groups, and the data from the ISM community surveys, are instrumental in helping us listen to what our community needs, so that we can create the best possible experience for our students and families. We expect a summary of the themes and trends found in the ISM data to be shared with us later this month, and we in turn will share these insights with you in the Fall.
I wish for each of you a restful, rejuvenating, and relaxing summer, and we look forward to welcoming you back to school this fall.
Dr. Dan Griffiths