On May 14, 2021, we celebrated our first commencement at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, in the same hallowed halls to which we welcomed our first students in the fall of 2017.
Earlier this spring, with our first commencement just around the corner, it was high time to adopt an official school motto for the seal that now appears on the diplomas we will present to our graduates. So we formed a motto committee, gathered recommendations from our school community, and went into deep deliberations, consulting closely with the Class of 2021 along the way.
The college application process is quite involved these days, and given the organizational skill, time, and energy it takes to complete just one application, it is no surprise that students equate the process with other consuming after-school extra-curricular activities.
“Just give me what I need to get an A,” a student said to me almost a decade ago about her expectations of her education. In some respects, she was right. Performance measures matter. However, learning approached (by teacher or student) as a mechanistic process risks shortchanging student growth.
The American philosopher Mortimer Adler once said: “The ultimate end of education is happiness.” This sounds much simpler than it is in practice.