Today, we are like baseball players arriving at Spring Training. We show up with new cleats and high hopes. The batter steps into the box… the shortstop leans left on a hunch… the outfielder gets ready to run… it’s electric. Anything can happen. And nothing is sure.
I’m only recently comfortable with that last part, “nothing is sure.” After all, don’t we want to know the plan? Shouldn’t I be able to bank on an outcome? Don’t we need to take a side, make a stance, and take action with certainty? Maybe it’s St. Luke’s growing culture of curiosity and inquiry, but I now embrace uncertainty. The truth is, I’m certain about almost nothing. I know I love my wife and my children, and that I’d give my life for each of them. But I can’t think of anything else important I’d say with absolute certainty. It feels too rigid. There always seems to be room for doubt, another possibility, or the tiniest bit of gray.
Perhaps this flexibility is why I’m so taken with the theme for the October 9th State of the School: Preserve & Innovate. It reflects our dual need to hold preservation and innovation in our two hands. In one hand we hold what is essential, proven, and timeless about school—that “personal element” we all value so highly. And in the other, a culture of collaboration and innovation that enables us to be a school of the future, and in fact remain a school in the future.
How well we collaborate, how well we trust and appreciate each other so as to step into new territory, how well we employ the new tools available to us, and how effectively we help our children become productive, moral citizens and leaders – this is what will define us as a great school.
I am certain of almost nothing–except the love we feel for family and friends and the commitment we make to our Hilltop community. We can feel safe in the promises we make to each other: to be kind, to be curious, and to be lifelong learners.
Welcome back to St. Luke’s.
P.S. You can read more about what Preserve & Innovate looks like at St. Luke’s in my August post: Always Changing, Always St. Luke’s.