Looking at a great day in the Upper School

Mar 24 2023

Looking at a great day in the Upper School

There is only one day left, always starting over: it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.
-Jean-Paul Sartre

The musician Tom Petty once sang, “Some days are diamonds; some days are rocks.” The Friday before we went on Spring Break was a diamond day in the Upper School. Over the course of the day, 9th-12th graders served others, competed with their classmates against their rivals in other grades, and performed for a larger audience. As I left campus on Friday, I came away impressed yet again with how much our students can fit into one 24-hour period.

We commenced the day with a morning of service and volunteerism. After arriving at school, the 9th and 10th Graders headed to Kenwood Park where they literally got their hands dirty with the San Antonio Parks and Recreation system and re-mulched the playground. The juniors put on their gardening gloves and worked in the fields at the San Antonio Food Bank. Seniors continued to build on the relationship we started during the pandemic with SA Youth two years ago by participating in a variety of activities to assist them in supporting under-resourced youth in San Antonio. Thanks to Upper School Head Bill Spedding for organizing the whole day and Dr. Erica Shapiro for coordinating the service site visits. One passerby was so impressed with our 9th and 10th graders working in the park that he spontaneously donated money to the school.

After volunteering all morning at sites around the Alamo City, students, teachers, and administrators returned to the main campus for a delicious cookout lunch courtesy of the Student Council and their sponsor Tony Ciaravino. The aroma and smoke from grilled hot dogs and hamburgers wafted over the Quad while we enjoyed one another’s company and rested up for the next set of activities. It was wonderful to see the entire Upper School sprawled around the campus and taking a break. Even Lower and Middle School students shared in the action by ordering burgers and dogs for lunch.

After our midday repast, we loaded buses again and headed to the Olmos Park ballfields. There, students quickly jettisoned their division-wide camaraderie to represent their classes and compete against other grade levels for Spirit War points. Whether they were playing kickball, capture the flag, or tug of war, the students, bedecked in their classes’ colors for the day, played hard and put themselves out there, all in good fun. Although they demonstrated good sportsmanship and laughed with and at one another, the students definitely wanted their class to win. Congratulations to the 9th grade on taking the day’s honors.

By 3:30 p.m., the majority of the Upper School students were done, both literally and figuratively. They had been going since early in the day and were ready for Spring Break.

However, for the cast and crew of “Much Ado About Nothing,” there was still Act 4 of the day. These Upper Schoolers had worked long and hard over the past few weeks on this Shakespeare classic and produced an amazing show thanks to excellent acting, great work by the tech crew, and as always, stellar direction by Mr. C. Honestly, I thought our production even surpassed Kenneth Branagh’s big-budget 1993 movie version.

Spring Break brought a welcome respite to our hard-working and dedicated students in grades PK3 through senior year and our outstanding faculty/staff. They had filled their days with academically challenging work, enthusiastic participation in extracurricular activities, admirable service to others, and long after other people’s workday concluded, homework, grading, and lesson preparation. They labored long, played hard, and earned their time off.

Now that we’re back, I wish you a productive, safe, and uplifting fourth quarter. Can you believe the end of the 2022-2023 school year is only two months away?

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