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A Note to Our Community From Head of School Rachel Stone — May 31, 2020

A Note to Our Community From Head of School Rachel Stone — May 31, 2020
Kelly Slonaker

Dear Students, Families, Staff, Faculty and Alumni,

As has so often been the case this spring, I woke up this morning feeling a sense of urgency to reach out to all of you.

It has been beyond difficult to watch the unrest, anger, and division boil over in our country — again — these past several weeks.  The depth and breadth of the historical underpinnings are both overwhelming and discouraging, and I know we are experiencing this pain collectively.  How can we make a difference?  How can we offer support to our students, colleagues, friends, and family members who are most impacted . . . without assuming the ways in which these events are impacting them?  How can we ask for the support we need?  How can we channel grief and outrage into hope and change?  I wish I had those answers for you today, but I do not.

What I can offer is that — as always — Canterbury is here for our students, families, alumni, staff, and faculty as we together navigate the inequities, racism, and hate woven throughout our country’s past and present.  We draw strength, wisdom, and a commitment to justice from our School’s foundation and values.  We teach our students to play a role in the lives of others, to approach their life and work with an open mind, and to lean into difficult, uncomfortable conversations.  Never perfect nor complacent, the Canterbury community takes this critical work to heart and soul every day, collectively and intentionally.  Indeed, we are here for you.

To that end, we have invited our students to an open forum Monday evening and our faculty and staff to a similar forum on Tuesday afternoon.  Both “spaces” are designed for our community members to share with one another the help they need as well as the help they can offer.  Being present together is the most important next step we can take.

My first fall on our hilltop intersected with the 2016 Presidential Election, and my experience that November inspired the initial blog I crafted as Canterbury’s Head of School.  The issues of prejudice and injustice were as present and pressing then as they are today, and so I share that reflection once again in the spirit of owning and sustaining our shared commitment to discussing, addressing, and learning from these very difficult and painful topics.

Tomorrow, you will also receive a State of the School letter from me and Canterbury’s President of the Board of Trustees.  I believe it will serve as an important reminder of the strength and solidarity of this extraordinary family.

Rachel E. Stone, P ’23, ’24
Head of School