From the Head of School
Dear Parents, Faculty and Friends,
January's end traditionally brings Charter Day celebrating Stanwich's inception in 1998. This year was particularly meaningful not only because it was Stanwich's last Charter Day, but also this year we took the occasion to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Project Blessing. At our Charter Day ceremony on the 25th, senior Gaby Wakim, who serves on the Project Blessing Board, presented Mr. Fletcher, the founder and Executive Director of the program, with a plaque in his honor to dedicate the Blessing School's soccer field. Over the past few years, Stanwich students, faculty, and local community excavated the Rwandan hillside, now known as Fletcher Field, by hand.
Traditionally on Charter Day, the Humanitarian Grant Award is announced to support a Stanwich teacher's volunteer international outreach effort making God's world a better place. Project Blessing was the outgrowth of the second Humanitarian Grant Award to Mr. Fletcher ten years ago. Traditionally underwritten by Stanwich trustees, this year--without trustees in their usual role--the Stanwich Parent Association generously funded the award in memory of Kerry Gotschall. Appropriately and poignantly, Kreg Gotschall and Caroline Worra are the 2019 recipients of the Stanwich Humanitarian Grant Award. As described in their application for the award, Kreg and Caroline plan to travel to Rwanda this June with the 16 member Stanwich student group, along with donated musical instruments, to bring the gift of music to the Blessing School and its rural Cyabatanzi community. This year in addition to the Stanwich students and chaperones in June, Mr. Fletcher will lead in August a similar group of GCDS students, alumni, and faculty.
Going forward, Greenwich Country Day School will perpetuate such humanitarian awards through the Pat Young Heart of Stanwich Endowment Fund, to which Stanwich families, both current and past, have been donating so generously. If families have not yet done so, they are encouraged to access the link at the upper left corner of the Stanwich School website. Stay tuned for an exciting announcement about the fundraising progress of this special fund.
Except for our skiers, we are hopeful that Puxatawni Phil's prediction of a short winter is correct for a change. Certainly the current thaw encourages us in that hope, and has allowed our contractors to make great progress on all fronts. Notably a new expanded parking area has been created to the north of the Lower School Building for faculty and parents. Although early morning and later afternoon access is advised through the Lower School circle, a second access and exit road will soon exist through the former "Pit" parking area for use during Lower School recess when the traffic circle is blocked off.
With the involvement of GCDS, winter sports options this year provide expanded opportunities for boys in hockey and wrestling. All our teams are playing grittily, with some strong group and individual performances. In particular, the Senior House Boys team coached by Mr. Feder and Mr. Katona is currently undefeated. This year for the first time since 2015, two seniors signed athletic commitment letters for their universities of choice with Gaby Wakim off to row for Bucknell and Ted Frascella for Princeton.
Except for the noise, which we have gotten used to for the most part, the on-going construction has caused few inconveniences and no serious problems. The anticipated work after spring break will result in some classroom shifts and schedule adjustments to our annual performing arts schedule. Besides the first class Senior House production of The Foreigner last month, we enjoyed the K and Grade 1 production of Peter Pan and the Grades 2 and 3 production of The Wizard of Oz. Please mark your calendars for Grade 4's Shakespeare Unshackled (or Macbeth, the Musical Comedy) on the 13th, and Intermediate House's production of Willy Wonka on March 1.
With the anticipated spring renovation of classrooms on the west side of the Upper School building, the current classes on that side of the building will be relocated elsewhere in the building, with a few Upper School classes being relocated to vacant classroom spaces in the Lower School building. Those relocating faculty will pack their boxes for the move and the rooms will be ready for the first day back from spring break on April 1.
Complementing the Stanwich performing arts and its integration activities in the fall, our visual arts teachers, Ms. Graham and Ms. Sullivan have orchestrated an outstanding Stanwich/GCDS joint project now on display at the Cos Cob Library through February 27. Please check it out if you have not already done so.
Thank you to everyone for returning the re-enrollment contract on time. We are all excited by the enrollment numbers currently projected for next year, which is quickly shaping up to be a great one. Enjoy the extra long Presidents' Day weekend this year.
Head of School