The new year is a time for reflection, and I honestly believe I have the best job in the world. Each and every day I am able to interact with smart and interesting people—from our students, to our faculty and staff, to our many alumni and parents of alumni who are often on campus for events, and so many others. This fall moved by seemingly in an instant, and here we are already in the middle of winter. The last four-plus months of the school year have provided us with many opportunities to come together as a community to gather and celebrate, which is one of the many things that makes University School of Milwaukee such a special place.
Even before the first day of classes, at our opening faculty and staff meetings in August, our teachers and staff were surprised by a “flash” musical performance of their peers that had people rolling in the aisles. Just a few days later, our senior prefects reflected on this year’s Common Trust tenant of honesty in Opening Ceremony speeches. The following weeks had parents coming to campus for Back to School Nights, conferences with teachers, and many other events and performances.
Despite some wet weather, we celebrated an amazing Homecoming weekend and the introduction of the inaugural class of our new Athletic Hall of Fame. We cut the ceremonial ribbon on our new Lee Community Room and Darrow Family Welcome Center at our visitor entrance. We welcomed more than a half-dozen nationally recognized speakers who addressed a wide range of topics—from social justice to substance abuse prevention, and from World War II Japanese American internment camps to activism and politics—with our students, teachers, parents, alumni, and the greater Milwaukee community. And, celebrating its 40th year, our Holiday Shops and Preview Party & Benefit Auction were a great success, raising more than $230,000 for the School.
From amazing author visits to a wonderful open house for prospective new USM families; from class retreats for our Masquerade March on Halloween; from our 7th- and 8th-grade science symposium to Grandparents and Special Friends Day; and from our All-School Holiday Concert and Preprimary Holiday Sing to our Global Scholars Crisis Simulation, we have had a plethora of activity to keep us busy! And these are just some examples from only one half of the school year of our USM community coming together.
My main takeaway in reflecting on all of these activities is just what an amazing community we all share. Whether you are reading this as an alumna or alumnus, a parent, a friend of the School, a faculty or staff member, a Trustee, a donor—or, in some cases, more than one of these—we all share a common bond in that this is a place for which we have a special fondness. You, the valued members of our community, are an important part of everything that we do and aspire to be.