The First Day of School!
Few phrases carry stronger emotional weight than ‘the first day of school.’ For some it brings dread (I’m sending my baby off to kindergarten), for some a sense of beginning (I'm heading to kindergarten!), for some panic (Did I finish all my summer reading?), but for most of us, it brings energy and excitement (E2). Well, we had E to nth power on campus today! The excitement was palpable and contagious.
So much to learn. So many friends with whom to reconnect, and new people to meet. As one of the new faces on campus, I appreciate the warm welcome that the St. Michael’s community has extended to my family and me. I’d like to pass along that warm welcome to some other new members of our community (or members in new roles).
Andrea Amore joins us as St. Michael’s first Communications Coordinator. An University of Richmond alum with nearly two decades of experience at The Martin Agency, Franklin Street Marketing and VCU’s Brandcenter, Ms. Amore will spearhead the school’s efforts to smooth and improve internal and external communication. (Her daughter, Alex Clark, is starting as a brand new 6th grader here as well.)
Jan Guarino is our MS Drama Coordinator. Mrs. Guarino has a lifetime of experience in theater, having appeared in countless Virginia Rep productions including the recent The Charitable Sisterhood of the Second Trinity Victory Church. In addition to her work on stage, she’s a steady hand behind it as well. She guest directed last year’s smash hit Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at St. Catherine’s/St. Christopher’s.
Kensey Jones is our new second grade teacher. In addition to being a graduate of Mary Washington and the University of Richmond’s Teacher Licensure Program, Mrs. Jones is a nine year veteran of Henrico County Public Schools where she taught first, second and third grades. Mrs. Jones joins the faculty with a wealth of technological skills and experience, which she claims to have taught to her husband, Middle School Dean of Students Michael Jones.
Angie Rowe joins the first grade team as an instructional aide. A Mary Baldwin alum, Mrs. Rowe taught kindergarten and first grade in the Henrico County Schools. During the past seven years, she was a lead teacher for the Bon View School for Early Childhood Education. The addition of an instructional aide in first grade further strengthens our program, particularly in the area of literacy instruction.
Brenda Snead is with us on a temporary basis in the Middle School Library as we complete our search for our new Information Literacy Specialist / MS Librarian. Mrs. Snead retired last year as an assistant Lower School librarian at St. Christopher’s.
This year, you may notice a new look, feel and timing to emails and other communications you receive from the School. It’s our hope that these changes will streamline the flow of community information. In fact, this is the first “This Week at St. Michael’s ” email. These notes will come from our new communication office and serve as a one-stop shop for all school-wide news. I am grateful to Mr. Hubbard for allowing me to take the lead on this week’s note. You’ll be hearing from both of us throughout the school year.
Rest assured, you’ll still hear from room parents as-needed regarding class-specific news and events. On the horizon, in partnership with the SMPA, we look forward to scheduling some “What’s on your mind” sharing opportunities, including a series of sessions with Head Elect, Michael Turner. These will be a chance for me to listen and learn about the community. Of course, please know that my door is always open (even if it’s actually closed), and you should feel free to connect anytime.
I’ll close with another thank you for the warmth shared with me from the moment I stepped on campus. As an administrator, this is encouraging. As a parent, it is reassuring. It is exactly what Meredith and I were hoping for as our own children join a new school community. I could see it this morning as new students were already joining in games on the playground. We all saw it yesterday at Ironbridge Sports Park, as friends old and new came together for a truly wonderful event. The year is off to a great start, and it’s only… the first day of school!
Warmly, Michael Turner, Head Elect