Wow, things really ramp up here on campus as we speed into graduation! I just returned from Millinocket, Maine where I spent forty-eight hours with the junior class talking about their senior year and rafting the high waters of the Penobscot River. I like to take this trip every May to start preparing the next class of seniors for helping the faculty to run the school. School culture is important at Dublin, in fact it may be the most important thing, and I want the seniors to be intentional about how they shape and manage that culture. Every year I bring different teachers and staff members to help with the trip and this year I was fortunate to be joined by Katie Curtis, Alex Scalfano and Holly Macy. We stayed at a wonderful camp run by the New England Outdoor Center, which is owned and operated by Matt Polstein (Dublin class of ’79). We spent the first afternoon playing a massive game of volleyball so that the class was all involved in one activity. We then gave the students some down time before we asked them to grill up the dinner under the shadows of Mount Katahdin. After dinner we watched the sunset, listened to the loons, and talked about leadership styles. I like to use some exercises from the National Outdoor Leadership School when talking to our students about leadership. They key for me is that they recognize their own leadership qualities and look for peers with complementary skills to their own. The next day we had an absolute blast on the river with one another!
There is much to be said about our annual MayFair Celebration and I am eternally grateful to retired teacher Jan Haman for starting this important tradition at Dublin School. MayFair is a celebration of the mind, of the creative arts and of the senior class. Friday was spent listening to the seniors talk about their senior projects and watching the New Play Lab students perform their engaging, creative and “alternative” play. The Friday night coffee house is one of my favorite events of the year. With nearly thirty different acts one never knows what to expect and music director Patrick Marr and his musicians did not disappoint. It was powerful watching seniors like Cam Harrington perform for the final time at Dublin, and exciting to see new stars emerge like Jack Pearce and Aidan Carter—who both brought the house down! Arts Department Chair Jenny Foreman had her fingerprints all over the weekend and especially on Saturday morning when a group of dancers performed a medley of dances around the theme of summertime. The MayFair dance is open to any student who wants to participate and celebrates the Dublin model of combining novices with true experts.
Sometimes I forget that our campus’s electrical needs are fully powered by the sun so I was happy when Director of Buildings and Grounds Andy Hungerford told me that we were producing far more electricity than we have been using over the last month. Our students can follow the action on a website that shows the hourly, daily and monthly output of our system. Our current goal is to “bank” as much electricity as possible now so we have good electrical credit heading into the darker days of the winter months.
I was thrilled to receive an invitation to visit our equestrian team at their barn in Ashby recently. The students are working with barn director Lisa Damon and our coaches Martha Erickson and Sophia Rabb. While I always hear great things about the program from the students it was wonderful to see it in action. The athletes describe the sense of relaxation and connection they feel when they walk into the barn and see the beautiful horses. They take turns riding, grooming and walking the different horses while the coaches take each of them through various technical progressions. Equestrian is a truly magical sport and it was special to see it through the eyes of our students. I made a short video of my visit to capture the uniqueness of their daily experience in the barn. I thank all the coaches for their amazing commitment to our riders.
Tomorrow I am off to Florida to join our seniors on their senior trip. They are enjoying a mix of community service, culture and beech time as they prepare for graduation next week. I am feeling very nostalgic about this class and they have not even graduated. Here’s to another exciting week!