As I settle into my first year as head of SCH, I find myself taking it all in: the waves to parents in
the carline, the exchange of smiles and handshakes with students and staff, the inspiring lessons by our faculty, the chatter in the halls between classes, the laughter on the playground and in the dining hall, the roar of competition on the playing field, and the sun setting beyond campus after a busy day. I am so proud, so very honored, to be a part of this vibrant, dynamic community. At nearly every turn, I encounter firsthand the unbounded curiosity and independent thought of our students, nurtured by the unlimited dedication, passion, and creativity of our faculty and staff. Just a few weeks ago, I marked the start of my 28th year in education. Over these nearly three decades, never have I experienced a school with so much courage, resilience, and integrity. Oh, to lead this school is both an honor and a privilege!
I was floored to learn that 34 members of the Class of 2022 were “lifers”: they began their SCH journey as preschoolers and finished some 14 years later. Again, 34, or roughly a quarter of the graduating class! Take that in. Few, if any, schools of our size and character can say as much. Whether a student’s time here numbers 14 years or 14 months, that student is part of an unfolding legacy of excellence and impact, at SCH and beyond.
The power of an SCH experience extends to the campers and students who spend their summer days on campus. Upon my arrival, I learned more about the robust offerings in our “off” months, including a fairly new program at SCH: Horizons. A national program that provides a six-week academic enrichment and social experience to underserved children tuition-free, Horizons students begin the program the summer before 1st grade and return each year through 8th grade. This summer we welcomed to campus a second cohort of eager students. Hailing from local public, charter, and home schools, these children—by all reports—had a fantastic experience, thanks to the Horizons team which includes a few SCH faculty and staff.
It is no secret that SCH delights in nurturing students’ knowledge of themselves and the world in an effort to prepare them to lead lives of integrity, thoughtfulness, and impact. In this edition of SCHool, we highlight well-being at SCH. In the wake of the pandemic and a seeming uptick in demands and discord, well-being was identified as an institutional priority. Why? Because we are committed to expanding our students’ academic and personal potential. Moreover, students thrive when they are healthy mentally, physically, and socially, and feel a strong sense of belonging.
Simply put, students learn better when they are healthy and feel connected to school, engaged, and have a sense of purpose. This happens in a learning environment in which they are inspired and supported. Similarly, the learning environment is optimized when our faculty and staff feel supported and act from a deep sense of purpose rooted in our mission and values. This coming year, we will continue to shine the light on student and community wellness in service of important outcomes, such as resilience, courage, empathy, and flexibility.
The edition also celebrates recent alumni award winners, whose outsize contributions bring into sharp relief the proud, storied legacy of our school. In earning distinction for themselves, these alumni also bring honor to our school. Their work is a testament to the enduring influence of an inspired education. Let me close by saying that I look forward to our journey together. I aspire to a future SCH that is every bit as brilliant as its thousands of remarkable students, past and present, who have learned life lessons here and every bit as enchanting as the paths they have taken, or will take, in their lives.
Delvin M. Dinkins, Ed.D.
Head of School