Palmer Trinity School

AERIE Summer 2020

An independent, college preparatory, co-ed, Episcopal Day School serves a community of students in grades 6-12.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 2 of 55

Summer is nearly complete, and final preparations for the coming year are almost done. Despite a full, working June and July, thankfully, I have carved a few moments to pause, sift through my thoughts, and take advantage of the quiet to try to make clear sense of the 2019—2020 academic year. And, what a year it has been! I cannot imagine a more challenging, yet rewarding time, at least during my tenure here at Palmer Trinity School. I don't believe anyone of us could have predicted the events that unfolded across our world, our nation, and within our own school community this past year—let alone these past Summer months. And while we certainly have no perfect "road map" for what may come, I continue to be so very grateful for the Palmer Trinity "spirit;" our resilience, our ability to adapt, and our steady commitment to our greater Mission. Our work, each and every day calls us to challenge, nurture, and inspire our students, ultimately building a foundation from which servant leadership springs. Whether it be in a "virtual world", or right here, on these nearly 60 acres of beautiful, South Florida grounds, I am witness to outstanding moments, meaningful dialogue, and lifelong relationships and memories happening. What a joy to behold, and a true privilege to be in such a place, and at such a time. Reflecting upon this past year, it seems as if one could divide the year into "Pre Covid-19" and "Covid-19," noting that the challenges appearing after mid-March took on a life of their own. And while this is certainly a simplified approach, I believe it to be fairly realistic, particularly as we head into a new year, a very uncertain time, and a time in which our School will need to be ready to pivot to the appropriate learning scenario at a moment's notice. Pre Covid-19 marked a time period in which our School completed an outstanding re-accreditation process, completed a five year Strategic Plan (a year early!), and made significant progress in the early conversations of a new Strategic Plan (to be completed later this coming academic year). Moreover, much good work was accomplished with significant construction well underway, as Trinity Chapel is nearly complete, and ground is about to be broken for the Student Life Wing later this month, on August 21. Earlier this year, we also dedicated both the Hester Family Gate and the Kipp Field House and Track. During that Pre Covid-19 time period, our admissions and Annual Fund were both on "record pace," and we also reached the second-highest mark in terms of overall dollars raised in Annual Giving. Our School also hosted 28 global educational leaders for a week in March, as we led the 21 st Global Connections seminar. These visitors came from across the world—India, Canada, Columbia, Romania, New Zealand, South Africa, and numerous other countries, including the United States. At the time of this writing, we continue to monitor the rising cases of Covid-19, particularly here in South Florida, and we are working overtime to ensure that we deliver the Palmer Trinity School experience in the safest, and best way possible. Like so many of my colleagues, I cannot predict just how School will "play out" this coming year, but I do know that the efforts made by so many to ensure the best possible outcome have been incredibly inspiring, and make me feel truly proud to be part of such a profession and to serve with such truly talented, hard-working, and dedicated individuals. During this time, we are also engaging in crucial conversations with our community members, as we work to build upon our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts here at School. I am incredibly grateful for the possibilities of such discourse, and the opportunity to engage in this dialogue. It should be noted that we have expanded our DEI structure in significant ways, increasing our overall DEI Team to three outstanding Administrators, and have established a new, working DEI Alumni Advisory Committee, led by newly elected Alumni Board members, Shaina Louis-Jean '13 and Rashard Scippio '05. Over the Summer, our Faculty/Staff and students also held sessions in which we gathered perspectives and discussed openly how we can continue to work even better together in this area of School life. I look forward to our continued collaboration, and to further conversations with other members of our community. Accordingly, whether we are living in Covid-19 time, or, hopefully, soon, a Post Covid-19 era, our School is a work of progress. We are changing each and every day, driven by a lofty Mission built upon the concept of "inspiring students to lead lives of virtue, humanity, and spirit." While our successes may be measurable in certain ways, they are also not always tangible; rather, we are working to impact students in lifelong ways that may never truly be known. We are vested in relationships and focused on the healthy development of Mind, Body, and Spirit. Such work requires patience, time, and real commitment; and, such work is not always pretty! As the noted writer Maya Angelou so wisely states, "We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." Palmer Trinity is much like that butterfly; constantly growing, adapting, and, ultimately, evolving, into that beautiful and more perfect form. As we celebrate this past year and put the "finishing touches" on our plans for Reopening for the 2020-2021 academic year, I say "thank you" wholeheartedly for your support, our partnership, and the opportunity to serve in such a momentous time in the life of our School. I remain so very grateful for this Community, and incredibly optimistic for the opportunities "known" and "unknown" for Palmer Trinity. PAT RIC K RO BERT S, H E A D O F S C H O O L M E S S A G E F R O M T H E H E A D O F S C H O O L

Articles in this issue

view archives of Palmer Trinity School - AERIE Summer 2020