All 1168 CCES students, 193 of them new to the school, filled the seats and track of Carson Stadium this August 24th for Convocation. Traditionally indoors at McCall Fieldhouse, the outdoor ceremony allowed everyone to gather together marking the beginning of the 2021-22 school year and more importantly, the entrance into the life and traditions of the CCES community.
It began with an opening prayer by Louis Loeffelmann ’27, followed by The Star-Spangled Banner sung by the Blue Belles, and The Pledge of Allegiance proudly led by Caroline Cox and Joseph Stewart, Class of 2023. Dr. Angela Allen, Associate Head of School, noted in her opening remarks, “We are in-person and fully present today, and that is truly a testament that the Cavalier Community remains strong and united in our purpose and our faith.”
Last year’s challenges seemed to be an underlying theme, making the ceremony all the more momentous. “The past fourteen months have been isolating and emotionally draining for everyone,” said Head of School David Padilla, “but I hope it wasn’t as lonely because you had the comfort of knowing that this community of CCES— friends, classmates, teachers, and coaches—was standing with you and supporting you.”
Student Body President Alex Eastland ’22, labeled last year a “great triumph” in his speech. “This triumph did not occur by chance, it took a great amount of commitment from our faculty and student body,” he said. “It is that commitment that I find so admirable, because I feel that commitment did not, for a second, come from one’s own self-interest, but rather a place of unselfish love for this school and the people in it.”
Eastland was quick to point out that kind of selflessness and compassion has been a part of the CCES community long before COVID. “I think back to my first day at CCES, at an early August football practice before my 7th grade year, when a young Cullen Von Wyl warmly introduced himself to me and became my first friend. I think back to the countless times my teachers have made a conscious effort to work with me and make sure my assignments get done. The incredible support system put into place here is a result of a tight-knit collective determined to lift each other up and build a stronger community.”
“Yes, we’re taking some small— and, I hope, temporary— steps to make sure we’re all safe and healthy,” Padilla remarked. “But I know it will be worth it. Today, we know what we can do, and we know what it feels like to have each other for support.”
The JV and Varsity Cheerleaders, who had already wowed the audience with their popular "Cavs in the Front" cheer, returned for a spectacular dance and impressive pyramid, before the Bluebelles closed out the ceremony by singing the CCES Alma Mater. And then they were off, to begin another year of inspired learning.