In our openings meetings this week, the faculty discussed qualities that combine to form excellence, and people or organizations that embody excellence in our minds. Contemplating what we mean by this word and creating a shared vision will help us all strive to achieve higher levels in our work in the classrooms, dorms and playing fields, and above all, help us clarify to our students what excellence looks like and how it is achieved.
This is what emerged: Excellence is achieved when a goal is clear, and when we have a goal that matters deeply to us. We must care about the goal we are striving for; this leads to a willingness to embrace large challenges. Achieving that goal is so important that we are willing to practice hard and devote ourselves with rapt attention to the methods by which we work toward the goal. Often, devotion to the goal inspires people to innovate or find new pathways toward that end. This also inspires us to expect more and demand more from those we work with. Achieving excellence requires bravery; we must sacrifice something in our dedication to the work, but the immersion in meaningful practice is also joyful. The practice leads to a performance of some kind on which success is demonstrably superior. Surpassing expectations, standards, requirements is a characteristic of excellence.
This year we are poised and eager to achieve excellence in many ways at Dublin School. We look forward to the work and learning ahead as our new year commences!