June 4, 2020
by Dr. Bill Hudson, head of school
“Together, we are building a better future. By cultivating critical thinking, creative inquiry, and social responsibility, we inspire and empower our children to improve an ever-changing and sometimes, challenging world. We do that though a rigorous, yet joyful, education delivered by an exceptional faculty dedicated to fostering caring relationships with their students.”
Those were my words in my first Panther Post message of the 2019-20 school year, on August 29. As construction finished on our new Family Commons and Martin Lenz Harrison Library, I seized upon the metaphor of building as a theme for the school year, challenging ourselves to provide the vision, blueprints, tools, and materials our students need to realize our mission, fulfill their potential, and positively impact our world. I could never have imagined just how prophetic the theme would turn out to be.
The world is, indeed, ever-changing and challenging and our lived reality this spring and early summer has made that abundantly clear to all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic accentuated the strengths and flaws of ourselves, our institutions, and our society. And yet, our students emerge stronger, with the resiliency, flexibility, and independence that might not have otherwise been cultivated if not for the pandemic. Our exceptional faculty were able to pivot quickly while never losing hold of the caring relationships they have with students. Families have been supportive and understanding as difficult decisions have been made to keep our community safe.
The raw, visceral murder of George Floyd and ensuing unrest and violence has laid bare the fissures of society many gloss over or choose to ignore. Yet through critical thinking, creative inquiry, and honest conversation, our young people hold the promise of change where our generation, and generations before us, have failed. The MPA curriculum, grounded in character education and the humanities, in concert with the sciences, provide the tools and materials necessary to build a better future, to “stir the human spirit, stand for justice, and shake the world.” Indeed, building a better future requires our students to dream big and do right.
Thank you for entrusting your children to MPA—I am grateful for your partnership this school year. We are united in our shared belief that education is fundamentally an act of hope and that by investing in our children, we are indeed building a better future. I am confident that the strength of our community will carry us forward to a new day. Have a wonderful summer and I look forward to coming together in August.
PS: Please know you will hear from me on a regular basis this summer, as I share more information about plans for the fall. Our next communication is scheduled for Tuesday, June 23. Do not hesitate to reach out to your division director as questions arise!