Letters from the Head 10.16.17

October 14, 2017

Dear FA Families,

For a short, four day week, we sure squeezed in a great deal! From field trips to teacher professional workshops and from a dynamic All-School Meeting (Mr. Felix, Ms. Tavares, and Mr. Murdoch literally had us dancing!) to hosting special guests Charise Mericle Harper and Kevin Conlon, there is much to highlight.

Since I referenced Mr. Conlon’s impending visit in a previous Heads Up, I want to share a bit more about his time on campus on Thursday. Kevin Conlon is a producer for CNN. He is based in Miami, but he spends the majority of his time each year in locations around the world covering breaking news.

In between trips, we were fortunate to arrange his visits – with the help of sister, Brigid Conlon – to the second and seventh grades. Using recent experiences in Charlottesville, Mexico City, and Houston, Mr. Conlon shared his efforts to communicate the human experience to those of us who were watching from thousands of miles away.

The seventh grade witnessed the power of eyewitness reporting first-hand through a Skype session with one of Kevin’s colleagues in Mexico City. Equally powerful was a clip of Kevin’s work following Hurricane Harvey which documented Evelyn Hawkins’ rescue by her neighbor, Javier Ramirez. Following a detailed explanation of what had happened in Houston, it was impossible not to be moved by their story, by their reunion, and by Mr. Ramirez’s response to Ms. Hawkins’s heartfelt thanks: “Everyone is family. It doesn’t matter what race you are.”

I am thankful for all of the incredible work that goes on in FA classrooms each day as well as for special opportunities such as these which reinforce classroom learning. Authentic ways for students to apply that which they’ve learned to the world outside of our campus is a fundamental goal at Friends Academy. Should you ever have an idea for how we can make a connection locally, nationally, or internationally, please feel free to share!

Sincerely,

Ben Kennedy
Head of School