On August 21st, 1203 CCES students – the largest enrollment in the history of the school – filed into McCall Field House for Convocation, greeted by Crag Ragsdale ’99 and Carter Lowrance ’94, both current parents and members of the CCES Alumni Board. This annual ceremony kicks off the new school year, celebrates this community, and reflects on the values and traditions that make it so special.
Dr. Angela Allen, Associate Head of School, opened Convocation with a warm welcome back to all students and faculty. She noted the “anticipation and excitement” that a new academic year brings and called on the community to remember the core values of CCES – Character, Community, Excellence, and Service – in all phases of school life. Rafael Geis ’29 opened with prayer, followed by The Star-Spangled Banner, performed by the Blue Belles. Veera Shah and Max Martin, Class of 2035, led the entire student body in The Pledge of Allegiance.
In his remarks, Head of School, David Padilla, expanded on the Latin “vocare” which means “to call.” He noted that at CCES, students and faculty invoke the Lord’s presence through prayer, convoke to celebrate the new school year and the shared heritage of the school, and practice understanding and respect instead of provoking one another. Lastly, Mr. Padilla encouraged the student body to evoke hope, “for both ourselves and others, in striving to make this place, this year, and this world the best it can be.”
Following Mr. Padilla, the JV and Varsity Cavalier cheerleaders impressed the student body with a collection of cheers, dances, and stunts, getting everyone back in the school spirit! While CCES students cheer loudly at games, it’s also a reminder of the excellence CCES strives for in the classroom and beyond.
Student Body President, Korey Nary ’24, reflected on his time at CCES, how this “tight-knit” community has shaped him as a person, and on the idea that “the beautiful is difficult.” He said, “The process – both encouraging and discouraging experiences, relationships built along the way, and the fellowship of the community in times of hardship and happiness – is what makes success at CCES so beautiful.” Nary concluded his remarks with some wisdom Billy Campbell ’78 shared during his visit last spring – “When your life flashes before your eyes, make it worth watching.” Nary encouraged students to “lean into each other as we try new things and to pursue our passions in a way that makes each day valuable.”
The Blue Belles closed Convocation with a performance of the CCES Alma Matter, followed by a parting blessing from Father Wallace, Senior Chaplain. As students and faculty kick off the school year, may we all “be swift to love and make haste to be kind.”
For photos from Convocation, click here