A Community That Cares

ANDREW’S REMARKS TO STUDENTS FROM THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL ASSEMBLY

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Now that we have welcomed our new students and our new professional community members, I want to share a few highlights of my summer. 

The first came just days into the summer break at a first grade birthday party. The first grade class joined together at a bowling alley to celebrate three June birthdays, and I was there with my son, a first grader. About thirty minutes into the party, I noticed that one of our eighth graders had joined the party. Could an eighth grade party be overlapping with this first grade party? No, this young woman was there because she had befriended one of the birthday girls on their bus ride to and from San Francisco. Seeing this phenomenal act of caring and the huge smile on the first grader’s face was a great way to start the summer.

Throughout June and July, I watched almost every one of the U.S. Women’s National Team victories in route to their fourth World Cup title. At home, we debated our favorite players – mine is Rose Lavelle – and marvelled at the intensity of the final three rounds of competition. I was most moved, though, a few weeks after their championship when I read Megan Rapinoe’s speech during the victory parade. Rapinoe, the winner of best player and greatest goal scorer of the tournament, said, “This is my charge to everyone: We have to be better, we have to love more and hate less. Listen more and talk less. It is our responsibility to make this world a better place.” Rapinoe cares about having a more just and better world. She used her outstanding victory and performance to speak for justice. I loved that moment.

The third highlight I want to share happened at the San Francisco Food Bank. Inspired by volunteer trips I had taken with MTS families last year, my family returned to the food bank in July. That day we gathered with 36 other people who care about hunger in the Bay Area. That morning we created an assembly line to package boxes of food for families in need. While each person on that line had a different life story, we all shared a desire to make a difference. We cared.

I selected these three moments from my summer because they share one thing in common. Caring. This year at MTS, we will be focused on being an even more caring community. Our theme is “MTS: A Community that Cares.” 

I think it is important to highlight the three elements of caring that will be our priorities this year:

When we care we…

  • Treat people well day to day with empathy – feeling how they feel – and compassion – working to help in any way.

  • Work for equity and justice – a school, a community, and a world without equity and justice is not good, and we seek a common good.

  • Do what is right – even when at times doing so comes at a cost to us.

The eighth grader who made a guest appearance at the first grade birthday party treats people well day to day with empathy and compassion.

Megan Rapinoe uses her fame to work for equity and justice. 

The volunteers at the food bank do what is right, even when it comes at a personal cost.

As you finish your first day of the 2019-20 school year, I encourage you to think about how you can be even more caring. The opportunities abound. You, and I, simply need to seize them. We can all care more.

I am filled with enthusiasm and joy for the year ahead. Together we will all learn, we will all care, and this school – as well as the world – will be a better place.

Thank you and welcome!