Welcome to a new school year as we move through the first full week of classes and, for new families, the beginning of what will increasingly become “normal” over the weeks ahead. Thanks to the combined strength of student retention and attraction, we are opening with the largest population in SMUS’ 111-year history. Forty-four birth nations from Kindergarten to Grade 12, and over 20 countries represented within our boarding population, create a truly global educational community, right here in beautiful Victoria.
Along with diverse and motivated students, are faculty and staff who are fundamental to the strength of our programs, our culture and the success of our graduates. We are welcoming to the team 17 faculty members across our three schools. These new colleagues were selected following a competitive process for their subject mastery, their teaching experiences, their passion for student success, their affinity for pastoral care and for their aspiration to be part of a high-functioning team whose fundamental focus is the delivery of inspired student learning.
We are determined to make this an outstanding year, one that reflects the strength of our history as well as our obligation to the present and our promise to the future. As Acting Head of School, I am committed to strengthening relationships within all constituencies while keeping students at the centre of all that we do. During the opening staff meeting, I talked about this being a year of connecting and communicating – two themes that have always been central to my leadership and will continue as guiding principles. Together, we have much to accomplish and heavy lifting is always easier when the vision is shared and when helping hands are welcomed with gratitude.
It is an absolute honour to be the Acting Head of School, and I am dedicated to our students, to our staff team and to ensuring the best possible transition for Mark Turner, the Head of School designate, who will join us in the summer of 2018. To that end, I welcome your support, your thoughts and your active participation in any way that you are able.
Have a wonderful term. Vivat.