Head of School Welcome

Dear Prospective Families,

A truly meaningful education—one that propels students towards finding and extending their individual purpose and strengths—is fueled by an unshakable belief in possibility.

Such optimism drives us to discover and nurture the amazing potential within each student. Realizing their potential entails continual, holistic human development—intellectually, physically, artistically, morally, and spiritually. Through this development process, our students emerge as grander versions of their unique selves.

As growth happens, our students imagine infinite possibilities for themselves and have the courage to explore and reach such possibilities. Such outlook serves our students very well in today’s era of accelerated change, when so many markers of the past that once enabled students to succeed are no longer relevant nor securely in place. Although there is no defined set of qualities a student must possess to thrive, one quality is essential -- ongoing learning, best undertaken in the spirit of joyful discovery.

And as educators, we must emphasize the qualities an education should nourish. A standardized education, the type captured in a multiple-choice exit exam, does not serve our children or society well. Instead, we must aspire towards less quantifiable and more extraordinary ideals. Connections in a caring community. The courage to take risks in search of understanding. Discovery of one’s talents and growing to fulfill them. Development of a lively mind, a healthy body, and a kind heart. The realization of a purpose beyond oneself.

As such, we believe that education should not be something “done to” students, with teachers teaching and students learning only in the traditional sense. The best teachers design experiences that prompt students to engage vigorously in their learning, lost in the flow of exhilarating challenges. Students flourish when creating, questioning, reflecting, exploring, hypothesizing, collaborating, synthesizing, communicating, and growing. It is how students extend their natural, far-reaching curiosity about the world and realize their place in it.

Simply put, we actively encourage our students to flourish and give them the tools and opportunities to do so. We know that truly relevant, deeper learning instills confidence and courage in our students. It empowers our students. As one St. John’s middle school student recently wrote, “I don’t know what I will be when I grow up. But I do know I will have an impact on the world.”

I invite you to visit us and see this vision coming to life.


Mark Crotty
Head of School