Surely an eclipse and a rainbow in one week are signs that it is a good time to start the new school year together! There is even a very large new mammal member of the Tower Hill community, awaiting our Lower Schoolers' arrival in the library.....?! Preseason is in full swing for our Upper School students and the administrative team has engaged in two summer retreats. Classroom teachers, advisors, coaches, grade deans, department chairs and all of us are prepared and thrilled to welcome your children back to school. While some may mourn summer's end, there is palpable anticipation and excitement in the air. All of us who are teachers at heart approach the new school year with that age-old combination of boldness and butterflies!
We welcomed all new faculty for orientation last week
, and it would be an understatement to say that the positive energy, talent and new perspectives that our new teachers are bringing to Tower Hill are energizing! All Tower Hill faculty will reconvene next week for opening meetings, and we are fortunate to have Mr. Bryan Stevenson, author of our faculty summer reading book, Just Mercy
, joining us on Aug. 31 at 2:30 p.m.
in the theater. While he has agreed to meet specifically with our faculty, if you have read the book and would like to join us for his remarks, please RSVP to Stacy Palmer at email@example.com
A few highlights to orient you to the 2017-2018 school year:
Our word for the year is COURAGE. Please join us for a yearlong exploration of this powerful word; a Tower Hill education surely includes excellence in academics, arts, athletics, leadership and extracurricular activities — and a commitment to strong community values. As the founder of Phillips Academy said, "Goodness without knowledge is weak and feeble, yet knowledge without goodness is dangerous. Both united form the noblest character."
While there are other new administrators and teachers we can't wait for you to meet, I wanted to clarify the roles of the following:
Mrs. Andrea Glowatz, our Dean of Teaching and Learning, will oversee Tower Hill's new TLC (Teaching and Learning Center), which is located in the Middle and Upper School Library. Mrs. Glowatz's role is schoolwide, and as such she will work closely with Assistant Head of School Anthony Pisapia on academic life at Tower Hill, ensuring we are supporting teachers and students as we continually assess our curriculum, teaching pedagogy, learning support and academic transitions. Mrs. Glowatz will oversee and provide support to our learning specialists in each division. Tower Hill's philosophy regarding learning support and this new learning center is in short: all students can learn more about how they learn, whether one is a top student or a student needing particular support in some key areas; in top schools, there should be no stigma to seeking more knowledge about the best ways to study, learn and organize ourselves, as it is an investment in academic excellence. We will ensure you are able to meet Mrs. Glowatz at an upcoming Breakfast With Bessie, and you will receive regular news from her and our TLC in The Weathervane.
Mr. Art Hall, Assistant Head for Student Life, will engage collaboratively with our division heads on all student life related initiatives, culture and activities. While his focus this year will be primarily in the Upper School working in partnership with Mrs. Cover, Mr. Hall will provide an all-school lens to student life, especially through our transitions from division to division. As Mr. Baetjer did, Mr. Hall will also coordinate our academic and administrative hiring schoolwide search process; in order to continue to attract the very best teachers and talent to Tower Hill, Mr. Hall will help us delve into one of our important strategic plan goals, ensuring broad-reaching, diverse and national searches.
Mr. Anthony Pisapia, Assistant Head for Academic Life and CIIO (Chief Innovation and Information Officer) will be working closely with our academic team, department chairs and division heads as he continues to oversee our Innovation Team, libraries and Technology Department, ensuring we are implementing our strategic plan in good fashion. We will arrange time for you to get to know Mr. Pisapia better over the course of the year. Mr. Pisapia was invaluable to us last year overseeing the Business Office through the transition to our new CFO, Ms. Bianca Wright, who joined us this summer.
Please introduce yourself, handshakes, names and Mr. Swanson:
We will surely offer a series of opportunities for you to get to know members of the Tower Hill team. In the meantime, please feel free to introduce yourselves. Even as I begin my third year as Head, I too am still working hard to learn 730 student names, as well as those of parents and our wonderful alumni across the decades. I have been studying the Tower Hill photo book each night! Names are important but take time to learn, so thank you for your help and patience for those of us who are newer to the Tower Hill community. Of course, it is Mr. Swanson who knows all of our names; Mr. Swanson may not be here to greet us all next week, as he has been recovering from back surgery. We sent him our greetings and a gift from the entire Tower Hill community and will look forward to his return when he has fully recovered.
I look forward to greeting our students with a firm handshake and look in the eye during these first days of school. We can't wait to welcome you back!