I am writing this week's letter on Wednesday, because Thursday and Friday I will be on a Archdiocese principals' retreat in Seabeck. This annual event, put on by the Seattle Archdiocese Office for Catholic Schools, happens each September. When I was first hired as principal, Sheila Keaton, the previous principal, said it was a must attend event. She was right.
Even though you are almost always surrounded by people, being a Catholic school principal is sometimes lonely. The retreat provides an opportunity for the principals/presidents from the over 70 Catholic schools in Western Washington to gather, to meet new and connect with more experienced school leaders and to raise each other up.
Because of COVID, the last several years our principals' retreat has been over Zoom. It hasn't been the same. Even though the logistics of going away for a few days can be challenging, meeting in person helps build community and makes all of us better.
One of the goals of he Parent Association is to provide our school parents with opportunities to gather. Coming together builds community. It was with that in mind that Emily Fiorito, who was then a school parent, the PA president and teaching in the Highline School District, and Mary Reed, her sister-in-law and another school parent, came up with the Red, White and Brew. We would have it at the start of the school year. It would be a chance for parents to gather and build community. It was a huge success. From the very beginning, Red, White and Brew was a wonderful idea.
The past two Red, White and Brews (Bourbons) have been over Zoom. Although I greatly appreciate the effort that has gone into these online events, it's hard to connect with new people on a screen. With social distancing and very limited opportunities to gather, these past few years have been challenging for many parents.
Next Saturday, our Red, White and In-Person will be just that, in-person again. Our school is a very busy place, but for parents new to our school or whose in-person interactions with other parents have been greatly restricted by COVID concerns, picking up or dropping off a child at our school can be lonely. Next Saturday, October 1st, let's help change that.
Come to the Red, White and In-Person. Think of it as a wonderful, important and fun event to attend. Arrange for childcare. Plan a safe way home. Show up and welcome new parents and community members, introduce yourself to people you haven't met and catch up with old friends. Enjoy tastes of wine, beer, other alcoholic beverages and eat delicious appetizers. Purchase your favorite beverages and raise money for our school. Let's build community and raise each other up. We are better together.
Thank you for your support of our school and each other. Thank you for being a community that rises. I look forward to seeing you soon.