Message from the Head of School

A bi-weekly newsletter is sent out to our school community. To read previous newsletters, please scroll to the bottom of this page. The most recent message is shown below.

During the summer the building was cleaned and painted. Carlos, our custodian, treated our school as if it was his home. Look around when you are in the school. You will see the work of his hands. Miles of electrical wires have been pulled to upgrade the electrical service, a new entryway door was installed, banners adorn Market Street profiling our beautiful students, the barbed wire fence was replaced, and the WIFI network was upgraded. Teachers who spent the last days of their summer vacations preparing their rooms are more than ready for the important job they will do this year. My administrative team worked hard to prepare schedules and calendars, hire new teachers, and enroll new students. All of this was good and necessary work. But when the first students crossed over the threshold into school, the real work, to know, love and challenge children began.
I suspect that the reason you send your child to our school is that you want the same for your children as we do. We want them to excel. We want them to discover their talents, develop them, and put them to use for the good of humankind. We want them to be kind. We want them to make good decisions. We want them to be joy-filled. While it may sound like a cliché, we want our children to become the best they can be.
Our art teacher, Mrs. Falconer, is working with our K1 through grade eight students to create a giant collage combining each child’s self portrait. I can’t wait until this is finished. I am amazed as I look at six such portraits on my desk. Each artist chose colors and patterns that bring to light their inner selves. When I look at them, I see the inner beauty that each one has portrayed.
As parents and educators, we must discover each child’s inner beauty. The God-given raw material that is in each child. It is our job to guide and form them. As I walked through the classrooms during these first few days I took note of Ivar in Pre-K, already comfortable talking with adults. Maeve, another three year old, has a lot of spunk and wanted to make sure her classmates were all doing fine. Lara, an eighth grader, told me she wants to be a psychologist. She has a good sense of who she is. She is confident and is a deep thinker. In grade two Jabez’s smile lit up the room. You can see how blessed we are at Saint Columbkille. We can see each child’s inner beauty each and every day. We see a glimpse of heaven. We already see evidence of our work. Gabriel, grade four, took it upon himself to teach Pre-K students how to wash their hands. Liam, grade five, reached out to a new grade three student when he noticed he was sitting by himself. We want our children to “be boys and girls for others,” a Jesuit core value.
We begin this year with much enthusiasm, hope and joy. It is easy to be so upbeat when no mistakes have yet been made, no test or quiz has been failed, and no child has been abandoned by friends. We must keep in mind that with growth there must be struggle and we pledge to do our best to help children navigate through the difficult times when they come. We also know that at year’s end, our children will be closer to becoming who God wants them to become… and the world will be a better place.
William Gartside
Head of School