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A Message to Our Community, from Rea Taylor Gill

 

After having been engaged for the past two months in a warm, supportive, thorough and professional selection process with High Mowing School, I am honored to have been selected as the new Executive Director. Part of the process included an on-campus visit over several days where I observed the teaching staff engaged with students in and out of the classroom, witnessed the artistic and academic work as well as the social interactions of the students, and met with my future colleagues, staff and teachers. I can say that despite the snow and ice storm that threatened to prevent my departure, I left with a warmed and singing heart. There is a rich educational and social community on Abbot Hill that over the last nearly seven decades has developed, changed and adjusted to meet the needs of the times and the students of the future. There is currently a dedicated Board, leadership team and core faculty and staff committed to continue to identify areas for growth and improvement, and the school is poised to meet the future as a mature and confident organization striving to manifest its rich educational and social mission while staying true to its values.

I am no stranger to Waldorf education having been involved in administering to schools for more than twenty years. All four of my own adult children were fortunate to have received a Waldorf education and in my visit to High Mowing School I saw reflected in the young people the same kind of developing social skills, social sensitivity, and social understanding that my own children possess and that the curriculum at High Mowing School strives to nurture in its students. Underlying all aspects of what I witnessed at High Mowing School was a kind of faith that each student has a unique sense of Self and of their own life’s purpose. If one accepts that this exists, then a fully developed, or well-educated individual, would possess the tools to become fully cognizant of who they are and what they bring to the world and be confident in their ability to craft prosperous and fulfilling lives based on this knowledge, while at the same time according to others equal rights and privileges. I could see that at High Mowing School there is a desire to deliver an education based on this premise – this is the greater purpose. The academic, artistic and athletic excellence attained and expressed by High Mowing students are, somewhat paradoxically, not directly sought after as desired learning outcomes, but are the by-products of striving to attain this larger purpose. As a result, the High Mowing School’s graduates most certainly will and do honorably represent the School as good citizens of the world.

I see my role as Executive Director is to provide guidance and support in harmonizing and weaving together organizational activities that result in a collective manifestation of this larger purpose and shared vision as well as for the institutional processes, systems, growth and learning that are essential to a healthy, thriving high school. It is with humility and confidence that I look forward to taking up the challenge.

I am truly excited about this new adventure and am looking forward to becoming part of the team working in service to the students and this unique community.

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