Clark J. Daggett, Interim Headmaster August 30, 2016
I want to take a few minutes to share some thoughts with you that, I hope, will prove meaningful as we begin this school year together.
- Why are we here? Roughly 300—students, faculty, staff—will gather each day for the next nine or 10 months for one reason only: to help all of you, our students, create bright futures for yourselves. It’s not easy, if it were, everyone’s life would be wonderful. It’s different at different ages and grade levels, but the goal is the same.
- How will we accomplish this ambitious goal? By adhering to our five core values, the values that will guide our work together this year. All students will have the chance to talk about them in smaller groups—Lower School classrooms, Middle School houses, Upper School advisor meetings. So, I’ll offer a brief introduction here.
- Scholarship: Make an honest effort every day in all you do at Roycemore. Have an open mind, prepared to learn and appreciate new ideas. If your effort is consistently strong and you’re open-minded, your academic performance will take care of itself.
- Integrity: Make a commitment to honesty, to taking responsibility for your words and for your actions. No one gets to decide when his or her character will be tested—so think now about the kind of person you want to be. I hope you’ll conclude that integrity is part of who you are. If we all have integrity, we can trust each other, and trust is what holds our school community together.
- Respect: First, respect yourself, and then those around you. Have respect for the educational process—everyone has an equal right to learn, and no one has a right to interfere with that. Have respect for different points of view, even if you believe they are wrong, or misguided, or misinformed. And expect your point of view to be met with equal respect.
- Community: As a community of learners working toward bright futures, we need to encourage each other, respect each other, and understand each other. If we do that, all of us will feel safe, the kind of safety that allows us to do our best work in culture of encouragement.
- Compassion: Try to cultivate the habit of empathy, of looking through another person’s eyes before making any judgments. Try to hear your words and experience your actions as those around you hear and experience them.
If it were easy to live by these values everyone would, and life would be great. It’s not easy, so I’m asking you to try. We can all expect to fail from time to time, and that’s when we need to be responsible for what we say and do and take the appropriate action to make it right. No one is infallible, but all of us can strive to live the values our school embraces. You’ll see banners hanging from the ceilings in the hallways reminding us of our core values—scholarship, integrity, respect, community and compassion. Most of us need reminding from time to time as our lives become busy and demanding. And in those moments, what we value must guide our interactions with each other.