The Country School community gathered Sept. 22 for the Annual Meeting and Dinner, and reflections on the state of the school and our strategic mission: “Redefining childhood education for the future.” In addition, the night was dedicated to honoring faculty and staff, celebrating recent accomplishments and looking toward the school’s future. Tabletop group activities including small STEM challenges, provided out-of-the seat, community-building experiences for parents —hallmarks of a Country School education.
“I’m pleased to share that Country School is strong and well-positioned to continue its tradition of excellence,“ said Board President Sarah Irwin who thanked parent volunteers for their dedication to the school and the entire community for its robust participation in the Annual Fund and capital campaign.
“I speak for many families who are nearing the end of the journey when I say how much I would love to be able to go back and live it all again,” she added, reflecting upon her Country School experience. “The growth that happens on this campus is fostered with deep intention. Nowhere else will your child be more known and loved. A lot of schools use these words, but they come to life here. They especially come to life in the times when it isn’t easy, when we as parents need the guidance and partnership of experts who not only know, but deeply care about your child as a whole person. ”
“And, like its students, in the years to come, Country School will lead, thrive, and make an impact in the world in ways we can only begin to imagine today.”
In his remarks, Head of School Aaron Cooper shared progress on the school’s strategic plan “Redefining childhood education for the future,” adding that the skills required tomorrow shape the education of today. He highlighted the critical importance of 1) intellectual capacity and knowing how to think, 2) constructive dialogue and having both the skill and the confidence to express one’s unique ideas, 3) empathy and the role of caring within a community and 4) curiosity and developing a growth-oriented mindset.
Mr. Cooper also added that how children are taught is as important as what is taught, noting that a joyful childhood is the strongest possible foundation upon which to thrive.
“We create an active, joyful learning environment where children are challenged to think deeply, question confidently, and act generously so that they may lead lives of impact and purpose. This is not a cute way of fitting current dynamics into the words of our mission, rather it is a demonstration that our mission was written with the exact needs of the world in mind, and its tenets have only come into sharper focus over these past two and a half years.”
“I believe we as a society need to do everything in our power to have a future where people have learned again how to speak to one another and disagree civilly, where people truly strive to understand others’ points of view, backgrounds, and experiences so that they may work together more effectively and inclusively, and where we are solving more problems than we are creating,” he said. “We are educating future leaders to be curious, courageous, kind and to foster community. It is only in this way that we can hope to make progress on some of the world’s biggest challenges.”