"A Fresh Sense of Purpose" by Head of School Catherine J. Hall, Ph.D.
As our students and teachers return this week to our hallways and fields, there is a tremendous energy and renewed sense of purpose and opportunity that has filled the school. Summer always has an eerie quality in schools for me. The campus feels like an empty swimming pool, sitting idle waiting for life to return. The students are the center of our work, and it is so great to have everyone streaming back to start what will be a fantastic year.
I asked our faculty and staff this summer to share with me a reflection about why they came to Nobles and why they stay. The responses were all deeply moving and inspiring, highlighting what a very special place Nobles is. It will not surprise you to know that the resounding theme for our faculty for why they are here is the students. It is the relationships they forge, the lasting connections they make and opportunities they have to impact children’s lives in positive ways. Being an educator is a tremendous gift, and being an educator here at Nobles is something truly extraordinary.
When I spoke with the senior prefects earlier this week and asked them what they think is special about Nobles that should never change, the answer was unsurprisingly similar to what I heard from teachers. Without hesitation, the students talked about their teachers and the relationships they make that are unique and something they treasure. They are acutely aware of how Nobles is different from other schools in the ways teachers and coaches invest in students, and in how the community is defined by strong interwoven bonds and support structures that enable each student to be his or her best possible self.
As a new member of this community, I am eager to dive in and build these relationships quickly, and it is challenging to come in brand new to a job that is all about people. While this creates some sense of urgency to get to know everyone instantly, I am also very mindful that authentic relationships and connections take time and cannot be rushed. They come from time and experiences together, from opportunities to struggle and laugh, from events that push us to celebrate or mourn and from those wonderful moments where we learn and discover together.
I am deeply proud to lead a school that has been committed over a very long history to keeping our mission squarely focused on what matters most. Our students are our purpose, and it is through powerful teacher-student relationships that extraordinary learning happens.
I am excited to start the journey of getting to know our students, faculty, staff and parents as this school year begins, and to discover many opportunities to begin to build relationships across our community. I look forward to getting to know each of you well in the coming months and years.