Leadership and Strategic Plan

When Not to Intervene

Dear Parents,
I am writing from Duke University, where the Headmasters Association annual meeting is being held. The theme of this year's gathering is Disruption: The Future of Higher Education. My fellow attendees and I heard from Richard Brodhead, President of Duke University; John McCardell, Vice Chancellor at University of the South; and James Dean, Provost of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. One of the speakers emphasized the importance of our roles as teachers and parents and the restraint it takes to know when not to intervene. The premise being that the happiest, most successful children are those whose parents and teachers have not done for their kids things that the kids can do for themselves. Easier said than done, for sure, but worth pondering nevertheless. Another speaker stated that "community is not the same as conformity" and that safe spaces are not those where we are protected and filled with those who have the same ideas, backgrounds and opinions, but rather safe spaces are those where intellectual, respectful dialogue can take place from all different vantage points. Fortunately, these ideals are part and parcel of Tower Hill's ethos as a school that educates students not only for college, but for life. 
This week Tower Hill welcomed newly accepted students in the Middle and Upper School for the 2016-2017 academic year. Upper School applications are up 8%. Current students showed up in droves to form a welcome wagon and cheer, complete with glow sticks, as they escorted these new students and their parents to Hayward House for cookies and conversation. It was a great show of Tower Hill spirit at its best. One eighth-grader remarked that she had never seen as much school spirit in her 10 years at Tower Hill! We have terrific students and families, and the spirit is indeed contagious! 
Today the Admission Office is sending acceptance notices to a wonderful group of Lower School applicants, with a strong waiting list for our Kindergarten class. We do still have openings for Tower Tots and PreK for next year. If you know of any families with young children who ought to tour the Lower School—or get a taste of Tower Hill at our popular Toddler Times—please help them connect with Amy Bickhart at abickhart@towerhill.org or ext. 304.

Elizabeth C. Speers
Head of School