Rachel Stone, Head of School Blog
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Rachel Stone, Head of School Blog
For those of you who have attended Canterbury admission events this year or spoken with me as part of your admission process, what follows is likely to sound familiar. I am writing from the west coast of Florida in the midst of some wonderful, family-focused time; having these days to reflect on the past year reminded me that our family's decision to join the Canterbury community might be a helpful "data point"as you are faced with making your enrollment decision for the fall of 2017. So, at the risk of repeating myself, here we go....
My family and I arrived on campus just last June, so it was not long ago that we were deciding if Canterbury would be our new boarding school home. Accepting the role and responsibility as Head of School was a significant piece of the decision, of course, but choosing Canterbury as a school and community was equally as significant. Our boys were 11 and 9 at the time, making the professional and personal elements of the decision fully intertwined.
Why did the Stone family choose Canterbury? There are countless reasons - all of which have been affirmed over the course of our first year on campus - but here are a handful that had the greatest impact.
First, it was critical for me as Head of School that Canterbury be small enough for students, faculty and staff to know one another - to actually greet one another by name - but not so small that our students' experience would be limited. The Canterbury community is that of a small-school-extended-family, but we enjoy the programming and facilities of a big school.
Second, this is a place my husband (Canterbury's Director of Athletics) and I want to raise our two boys. Please know that I do not make that statement lightly. Every day, our children listen to conversations among Canterbury students, observe how they treat one another, learn from their modeling of citizenship, service and leadership, laugh with them over meals in the dining hall, and celebrate with them in the stands and on the sidelines. The decision to call Canterbury our home was made thoughtfully and deliberately.
Third, I am surrounded by colleagues who put students first. Yes, Canterbury faculty love their academic disciplines, areas of athletic and artistic expertise, and the professional growth they experience as members of a community of educators. But they have chosen this boarding school and immersion with these students. Canterbury students are at the center of our work, our commitment, and our love for this school.
Fourth, there is no other place like this place. Even on the hard days - a tough loss on the road, that week with multiple assessments, the cold & dark days of January - Canterbury students would rather endure those hard days (and enjoy the best days!) together and on our hilltop. We are family. We take care of one another.
My final thought for today: I believe that an offer of acceptance from our admission office is more accurately described as an invitation. You have been invited to join us; to seize the opportunity to become a part of something remarkable; to contribute to a community with Five Values at its foundation - Honesty, Respect, Compassion, Self-Reliance & Spirituality; and to explore your individual journey while embracing the role you play in the lives of others. This invitation is both a privilege and a responsibility, and I am grateful every day to have accepted my Canterbury invitation. Join us.