The Hendrix-Chenault Theater was filled to the brim with Lovett’s faculty and staff on Tuesday morning to launch the 2019-2020 school year. Central to that grouping were the new faces that will shepherd students in all three divisions: our new faculty. These talented educators actually arrived the week before to start learning about all things Lovett.
The group set out across the campus in small teams attempting to cross off locations on a bingo card. From the marine biology lab, the chicken coop (complete with newly arrived chicks) and cross country trails to the human resources office, the chapel and the lower school playground, they gathered stories about this magical place from the colleagues they encountered. One captured a story from Lara Kaufmann in alumni affairs as she recalled taking Lower School teaching legend, Teeny Parker, to hear Lovett alum (and National Public Radio host) Mary Louise Kelly '89 date speak about her new book. Before hopping into Lara’s car, Ms. Parker, who had been at Lovett for 30 years, found a book of writing from Mary Louise’s first grade year. At the end of the book reading, Ms. Parker brought the book to a surprised and overjoyed Mary Louise who asked if she had books like this from every student. Ms. Parker said without skipping a beat, “No, you were the only one I asked to write a book like this in first grade because you needed the challenge.”
Every story captured told the same tale: people at Lovett will be known, they will be challenged and they will be loved -- children and adults alike.
In partnership with each division’s curricular leadership - Patrick Boswell (US), Erin Dixon (MS), Jen Tatasciore and Amy Darsey (LS) - new faculty further explored Lovett using a visionary document written by Eva Edwards Lovett in the 1930s, New Deal in Education. This inspirational text frames the values intrinsic to an education here and operationalizes our mission. The group wrote essential questions and goals for the year from Eva Lovett’s work:
How might we recognize, cultivate and utilize the individual strengths and gifts of each child in order to empower them to work in cooperation with others?
How might we grow the values that empower students to respond critically and compassionate to the most pressing challenges of the world?
How might we provide individualized instruction and meaningful feedback in a way that moves students forward?
How might we adjust our view of our yardstick?
How might we continue to bring the analog into a digital world?
How might we foster the seeds of lifelong curiosity?
How might we continue to foster the social and emotional skills needed for a sustainable future while finding a metric to track progress over time so they are prepared for a future where their evaluation may be different?
Listening to them bring this text to life was inspirational and energizing. We look forward to our students connecting with them as we dive into the school year.