When I began my tenure as head of school on July 1st, I was in South Africa celebrating my in-laws' fiftieth wedding anniversary. As I prepared to make the long journey back to the States that day, the start of the school year seemed so far away, literally! And here we are, ready to welcome your children, our students.
That simple statement does not give you an accurate picture of what happens at a school over the summer months. For families, summer is often a slower paced season when bedtimes are flexible, the corn is on the cob, and bug bites and sunburn are the big challenges. Summer at a school is a time of rejuvenation and preparation. Teachers take a critical look at what worked and what they would like to change. Paint is touched up and floors are waxed. Classrooms are arranged and then rearranged to make each student's experience the best it can be. Our gardens are harvested, the fish are fed and the names for the cubbies are miraculously laminated.
Big changes also occur. During the summer months at Goshen, Kindergarten moved back into the lower school building and Room G "grew" into its new surroundings in the Grange. All faculty and staff were recertified in CPR and first aid. New faculty and staff members were welcomed to our learning community as we said farewell to others. As a group we looked at change during our two days of in-services and viewed an entertaining Tedx Talk. What does all of this mean? We are ready and excited to begin another great year at Goshen.
I would like to share the following news and reminders:• I received Nancy Hiro's letter of resignation on August 22nd. I know that you all join me in thanking Nancy for her ten years at Goshen and wishing her luck in her new endeavor.• The Extended Care program will be in good and caring hands as we begin the school year. Tr. Lori Rizzo (Room A) will take on the administrative duties associated with the position and be there for your early morning drop-offs. Long time Extended Care personnel will also play an integral role in maintaining and growing the well-loved program. Tr. Patrice Brown (Lunch Bunch), Tr. Patty Darden (after school care) will be consistently present during the week bringing the enthusiasm and devotion that are hallmarks of the program. Tr. Carolyn Mackrides is currently taking a leave of absence to address some family needs. She will be a welcome presence when she returns to the Extended Care program and By My Side class.• Karen Andiario will be joining the fun in Room C as the assistant. Karen holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering/Engineering and Public Policy and an M.S. in Systems Engineering. Some of you may recognize Karen from the YMCA where she taught the Introduction to Preschool class for the past four years.• Michele Kornegay will be joining our community as the Director of Communications. Michele, parent of Jonathan (GFS '14), has been devoted to Goshen since Jonathan arrived as a preschooler. She is a social media wiz, thoughtful and thorough writer, and she "gets" Goshen. I am excited to welcome her to the role.• Last spring, Stephanie Lantz began the process of managing the marketing decisions for the school. A duty that previously fell under my domain, the demands became too great to balance with my other roles. The transition was an organic one and Stephanie's background made her a natural choice for the role. Stephanie's title will now include that of Director of Marketing as well as Development.• Keara McLaughlin will be joining the Super G Room as the assistant. Keara is a graduate of Arcadia University with a B.A. in Psychology and also of Friends Select School. Keara has most recently worked as a counselor at the summer camp at Friends Select. She has a great understanding of Quaker education and a warm personality and will be a wonderful addition to the preschool faculty.• New this year--free early morning drop-off before your lower or preschooler begins class. Any day that your child is in enrolled in class, you are welcome to take advantage of Extended Care beginning at 7:45AM, at no cost. Please park along the left side of the driveway and escort your child into the building. You may pre-enroll for days using the Extended Care reservation form, by emailing email@example.com , or calling 610-696-2646. Please be sure to give at least twenty-four hour notice to reserve a spot.• As is the case every year, September is a busy month! Be sure to visit the Goshen Friends School website to access the full calendar. The Goshen Weekly, arriving in your inbox every Monday, is a great source for upcoming events, forms and campus insights. And just to get you off to a good start, here are a few highlights:• Wednesday, September 3rd, Lower School begins & day-off care for preschool students is available• Thursday and Friday, September 4th and 5th, Preschool Orientation• Monday, September 8th, Preschool classes begin & Extended Care begins for Preschool students
Please contact me if you have any questions as we start the year. I can be reached by email, firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone, 610-696-8189. I look forward to welcoming returning and new students over the next week. It is going to be a great year!
In friendship,Mimi BlackwellHead of School
Read Mimi's bio here.
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Support Head of School Tom Richards as he paddles his way to an all-purpose room. Tom's Kayaking Quest (pdf)Click here to follow Tr. Tom's Quest and to make a donation!Watch Tr. Tom kayak!If you would like to support Tr. Tom but would prefer not to use the on-line donation process, click here to access a form. Keep in mind, it does not contain the most recent totals. Please fill in all relevant information and return the form with your payment (cash or check) to Goshen Friends School.