Morning sun and red maple blossoms surround the LA bell tower.

“We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why. “
-Stephen King

I came across Stephen King’s quote this fall, and it sums up why I have always loved working in education. It is a never-ending puzzle: challenging, rewarding, frustrating at times, and always worth it when I keep the spirit of these words alive in my work. Teenagers are mercurial; they change in so many ways over four years of high school. Interim Head of School Nancy Starmer described the role of schools as “to provide context for the decisions that students make,” both now and in the future, as they build their lives and pursue their careers.

Sitting in the corner room of Borland Hall, looking out at the Lincoln Academy campus as I observe my own quarantine, I am sobered by the events of last week, but most importantly, I am resolved to move forward after break. I have learned how important each of us is to this community, how our actions truly can support one another. I have been witness to–and the beneficiary of–this community’s generosity and grace. We will rise from this challenging time together. As teachers and parents we will lead in both actions and words. We will find compassion and motivation in the return of our students, in masks and with a renewed sense of appreciation for what we can have here this spring when we keep each other’s well-being in mind.

When we resist the temptation to make things more normal than they are, when we pause and know that power in our influence is that we do not know who, when, or why our actions will make the difference; this gets to the real reason we do things for others. It is not for gratitude, but rather for the knowledge that we are providing context, framework, and a welcoming and safe place for our students and families.

As we head into break, take this moment to recommit to our health and safety measures. If you do travel, please follow our guidelines and if you have any questions about what we have asked you to do, give us a call. For us to have the kind of spring we all want, that our community needs, we need to continue our vigilance and make decisions that will serve the greater good of keeping our school and our students safe from the most difficult aspects of the year-long global pandemic.

Be well and stay safe.

Jeffrey Burroughs