Director's Cut

Emerald Connection, May 15, 2023

What’s best for our kids?

How can the adults in our community best support each other?

These two questions drive my actions and decisions on a day to day basis.  Our best chance to help our kids reach their potential is for the adults in our community to support each other in creating a web of connections that lifts all kids – and each other – to their potential.  Over the past few weeks, we have made time to honor many of the adults that are collaborating at Steamboat Mountain School to give our kids the best experience we can.

Earlier in the month, we thanked the many family volunteers that are able to make time to help our school function.  From class representatives to lunch volunteers to generous donors to event coordinators, so many members of our community step up to make things happen.  Our volunteers are not needed due to staff shortages; rather, they form the bridge between home and school that makes this a community for all: kids, faculty, and families.  We are so fortunate that so many of our families are able and willing to carve out time to be engaged with our school.

We also celebrated teacher appreciation week this month.  Our faculty really appreciates the recognition.  As you likely know, teacher stress and shortages are nationwide issues.  And while I don’t think our staff is stress-free, we are a happy bunch.  This is very much due to the support we feel from this community.  While teacher appreciation week was a recent event, we have definitely noticed the steady flow of snacks over the year, the generous support for faculty to attend last weekend’s Spring Bash, gifts we have unexpectedly received, and most importantly, the kind words that affirm the value of the work we are doing.  Our ability to stay connected, positive, and engaged is greatly supported by the knowledge that our community appreciates what we do.  Thank you for all the ways you express that.

At the end of April, we honored and welcomed grandparents, extended family, and supportive friends at our Grand Day celebration.  Students and teachers planned activities for adults and kids to engage in together and the morning culminated with a spring strings performance.  It was lovely to welcome so many extended members of our community to be on campus and see and share in the magic of what makes the Emerald Campus so special.

And just last Friday, we celebrated Mother’s Day with student presentations and gifts in grades K-4.  I was busy subbing in other classes, but got to hear really nice things about how the morning went.  In particular, I heard how well all of our younger students did in standing up and presenting in front of an audience.  While we have always valued student voice, our students this year showed exceptional confidence, poise, and projection.  This comes from trust: trust in our teachers and trust in our families that this school is a safe place for students to speak up and find their voice.  If you need any proof of how this manifests, you need only have seen the Kindergarten students leading their second all school meeting.  They came out with swagger and their voices carried to fill the Fellowship Hall.

As we embark on the final stretch of our year, it is wonderful to reflect back on all the ways our community supports each other.  It shows in the quality of adult interactions and it shows in how happy and successful our students are. 

Take care of yourself and others,

Greg Friedman