INSIGHT: Community Building Through Fall Orientations

By Sam Uzwack, Head of School-elect

As the fifth-graders arrived at school for their orientation, a sea of smiling seniors greeted them on the Sport Court. Welcome signs held high, the Class of 2023 welcomed the Class of 2030. Adorned on each welcome sign was the name of one of the youngest members of the community, and as each 5th grader found their morning tour guide, the beginning of new bonds formed. As I watched the scene from afar, I could not help but smile myself, recognizing that what I was observing was EPS at its best.

We have always been proud of the fact that we are not separate Middle and Upper Schools under one name, but an integrated community. Events like yesterday’s senior welcome exemplify the intentionality with which we bring together our younger and elder students. Just a few moments prior to the welcome, Dr. Stegeman talked with the seniors about their special role in the school as leaders and role models for all. It was heartwarming to see the class take their community responsibilities to heart.

This is precisely why the community has spent the last two days on orientation trips; not only do they serve to reacquaint old classmates and introduce new students, but they teach students about how we do school. Whether a ropes course designed to teach perseverance or a trip to a local museum that encourages critical thinking, these two days serve as a foundation for the year. But it does not stop there…you can’t do everything in a scant two days. So we will continue to work with students through everything we do, be it in the classroom, on the stage, or on the field… to build community and culture.

Congratulations…we’ve launched school year 2022-23!