In honor of those who serve or have served and for the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, a special Veteran's Day chapel program was organized by Director of Administrative and Strategic Initiatives Andrew Herring (former captain in the U.S. Army), Chaplain Joshua Hill, and several students. There is no single story for those who serve demonstrated by Andy's remarks along with the video of veteran voices. Thank you to all.
Honoring our Episcopal roots, Academic Dean Peter Durnan treated the school community to a detailed explanation of how to “interrogate the rabbis.” Evoking feelings from his own adolescence and an important passage from the King James’ version of the Bible, Mr. Durnan outlined an approach toward curiosity that if followed, will likely set one’s academic passion on fire.
Educators know that role modeling, setting clear expectations, and providing clarity are often the ingredients for a positive learning environment. Dean of Students John Lin talked about our school values and the notion of honor and integrity in his Values and Rules talk shared with the entire school. Thank you Mr. Lin for delineating what character looks like.
To kick off the first official day of classes, Head of School Phil Peck addressed the students in morning Convocation. In his speech, Mr. Peck references a passage on the stained glass window that students see as they enter Chapel that reads "God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self-discipline". His message focused on community and the values of the school that help us build a strong community.
Each year departing seniors arrive for one last service at Outdoor Chapel. Each student brings with them a decorated stone to add to the collection of stones of seniors before them. This year at stones chapel, Dr. Nicole Furlonge spoke to the seniors about leaving Holderness.
Last weekend I was fortunate to be in New York at an event at the Museum of Natural History to honor the retirement of Pearl Kane, who led the Klingenstein Program at Columbia University for almost 40 years. The Klingenstein Program is a premier leadership development program for independent school educators, and many of our colleagues have benefitted from that program and Dr. Kane’ mentoring. The event at the Museum of Natural History was also a wonderful moment for Holderness because Pearl Kane’s successor, our Director of Teaching and Learning Nicole Furlonge, PhD, was announced. We heard from several renown speakers, and a constant theme was, “Leadership is not a title or position, leadership is a behavior.”
Associate Head of School Nigel Furlonge provides a thoughtful reflection on formative lessons in "What I Learned Along the Way." He discusses childhood and growing-up events that create a widening perspective of "God's plan." Some of his vignettes share what Mr. Furlonge learned about inquiry, testing limits, how to make mistakes, understanding that very often others are there looking out for him and to listen and learn from challenges offered.
Excerpts below of the Chapel Talk or listen to the podcast.
Holderness School gathered for a final program in our two-day celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Director of Teaching and Learning Nicole Furlonge, PhD, shared a personal story about herself, identity, race, class, and family.
We concluded our time together with these words of learning from our two days of reflection and celebration of Dr. King:
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
All it takes for evil to win out is for good people to do nothing.
Our lives begin to end the moment we become silent about things that matter.
The Holderness community gathered together in the chapel on the first week back at school in the new year. Rev. Hill provided us with a brief explanation of why it is still Christmas and then shared from his own personal experience over the holiday season.