I am fond of “twins” in the SMUS lexicon. For instance: “passion and compassion”, “truth and goodness”: the term “twins” suggests the inseparability of two halves always holding hands as they walk through SMUS life.
Another set of twins dance together as the underpinnings of our Health and Wellness program: balance and resilience.
Last week I talked about work begun rather quietly a couple of years ago, by a small group of staff and parents whose task was to make explicit how the School’s motto of mens sana in corpore sano lives on in our daily lives, as we pursue academic success in an environment where the character and self also grow. We believe a healthy life for a growing student is also a fulfilling one, rich with opportunities that help the student mature into the adult that she or he is fully capable of becoming. Academics, sports, the arts, service, leadership, social responsibility : these are some but not all of the nourishment that feeds this fulfillment. Health and wellness play out on a canvas where physical and emotional impediments are unavoidable: balance and resilience are our best supports in managing these impediments.
Virginia Ronning, our former Head of Counselling who led the Health and Wellness group for the past couple of years, summarizes their work as follows: “we want to provide opportunities for students to deepen their self-awareness, understand their needs, and create their personalized Health and Wellness goals. This was all viewed through the lens of a holistic model which includes the mind, body, emotional, social, and spiritual self. We considered the possibility and strategy for each student in the school to create their own individualized Health & Wellness plan which could be embedded in their online portfolios. We know that with all this information healthy decisions are more likely to be made”
The baton is now being passed to Richard Primrose, just named our new Director of Health and Wellness. Ritch was on the earlier committee, and is our Head of Physical Education in the Senior School. He will be inviting participation in this important enterprise of helping our students lead balanced and resilient lives, K to 12. Thankfully, we have a head start of over a hundred years of SMUS history. Mens sana in corpore sano.