A Joyful Return: Faculty, Students, and Parents Celebrate a New School Year

Faculty welcomed new and returning students and families to St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s for the first day of the 2019-2020 school year this Monday, Sept. 9. Grades 1-8 attended the annual Convocation in Gordon Chapel, while early childhood students joined their new classrooms for the first time.  

Convocation was led by Head of School Virginia Connor and the school’s chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Arden C. Strasser. In keeping with St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s historic commitment to educating a diverse and inclusive community, families and faculty were greeted by representatives from a variety of faith traditions: 

  • Rev. Katharine Flexer, P ’21, ’24, Rector of St. Michael’s Church
  • Dr. Hussein Rashid, founder of islamicate, a consultancy focusing on religious literacy and cultural competency
  • Sister Faith Margaret, member of the Community of the Holy Spirit, the school’s founding order, and a former faculty member and trustee

(Rabbi Mira Rivera, Jewish Emergent Network Rabbinic Fellow at Romemu, had to cancel her attendance at the last minute.)

Each speaker offered special blessings from his or her own faith tradition, but a common thread was woven throughout: the importance of learning and loving throughout one’s life. 

Mother Flexer quoted a prayer from the leader of the Corrymeela Community, dedicated to reconciliation in Northern Ireland:

“May we be courageous today.
May we learn today.
May we love today.”

Dr. Hussein shared a passage from the Kuran: "My lord, please increase my knowledge.” 

For younger students, the first week of school includes transition days for the nursery, junior kindergarten, and senior kindergarten students, to allow them time to get to know their classrooms, teachers, and new friends and adjust to the new schedules and experiences they will enjoy. 

Next Monday, Sept. 16, will be the first day of school for the three-day Beginners class, while two-day Beginners start on Tuesday, Sept. 17.