On one level, if we weren’t juggling a health crisis, an economic downturn, civil upheaval both locally and nationally, and—just for good measure—a Saharan dust plume, this note might simply be to introduce myself, to offer a brief overview of my experience, to express my and my family’s gratitude for the warm welcome we’ve received, and to capture some of the excitement I feel about both where we stand as a community and where we’re headed.
That said, despite the complications we face as a school, a city, a state, a country, and a world, the purpose is largely unchanged. Since I have to start somewhere, this letter is simply the first in a series of “introductory” pieces. So here goes . . . .
After navigating the same complex spring that all of you have navigated, my wife, daughters, and I are finally settling into life as Greenvillians. Our twenty years in Chattanooga were wonderful, and leaving the comfort of the familiar was going to be challenging. But now that we’re mostly unpacked (if not completely arranged), we are enjoying the warmth, friendliness, and beauty of Greenville. In some ways, it has been a surprisingly easy transition. So much of what we loved about the past twenty years is complemented and continued in this community. If people recognized what a great place Chattanooga was to live and work, they now appreciate that in moving to CCES and Greenville, we have moved up a step.
Here in Greenville, countless people have worked tirelessly and together over the past six decades to build a school community that is widely recognized and appreciated as exceptional. The faculty are second-to-none; the curricular arc from Primer to graduation is consistent and strong; the athletic and artistic programs are stellar; the sense of service to the greater community is unfailing; and our identity as a leading independent, Episcopal school is well-established.
While leadership, faculty, and staff remain hard at work in preparation for a new school year, we also remain confident that the plan we’ve crafted is strong. Granted, conditions will continue to shift over the remainder of the summer, and I will provide updates as details come into greater focus. But we’ll be ready to welcome students back to campus in August with a flexible approach that will allow us to continue to offer the rich CCES experience you (and we) have come to expect.
My predecessor—with his consummate graciousness, warmth, care, and love for this school and community—has set the table for continued success, and the work that students, faculty, staff, trustees, and parents have done over the past year has positioned me well to build strength upon strength. Together, we will continue the upward trajectory of shaping mind, body, and spirit for generations of students as we prepare them not simply for the demands of college but for their larger roles as citizens and leaders. We will further foster a sense of belonging and a sense of what it means to have a Cavalier Mindset.
Throughout its history, CCES has always been committed to continuous improvement. Rather than rest on past success, we look forward to building on what has been done to continue to improve what we do and who we as a community are becoming. I pledge to continue that work as the newest member of this special place.
Words fail fully to capture my excitement about beginning this journey, and I look forward to getting to know you all individually as we continue the work begun and carried on by so many of you.