Here's a briefer submission than last time, inspired by the season of gratitude. As we bid farewell to the twists and turns of 2016, let me share a partial inventory of my undimmed USN reasons for thanks:
For the three new members of our Admin Team: Juanita Traughber in Communications, Quinton Walker in High School, and Roderick White in Diversity and Community Life—each a dynamic, hardworking, and caring presence—and all so impressive.
For the talented folks whose excellence in their roles here has made it possible for me to visit 30 different schools this fall in three time zones while things back home ran so smoothly. And for the new friends and colleagues at all those schools.
For the groundbreaking and consistently inspiring work of Beth Thornburg over three decades in AFTER-SCHOOL.
For the quiet, maybe even too quiet, progress on our One School. Our Future campaign, now more than 90 percent toward a $28 million goal set four years ago, racing for conclusion on June 30.
For the willingness of the USN community to think of one another in the midst of the vituperative election season, and for renewed civic energy since results were announced.
For the thoughtful leadership of this year's low-ego, high commitment senior class, setting the right kind of example for the young ones in our halls.
For our smaller than you would probably believe Operations staff, setting and resetting rooms for events around the clock, and for driving the vehicles that bring USN students, faculty, and programs to every possible destination, and for keeping our campus as safe as it is friendly.
For the good people of USNA, working a calendar of events that engages more than 70 percent of our parents as volunteers and hundreds of our neighbors in Evening Classes, even when the signup website crashes under the weight of that interest.
For our faculty, meeting regularly after classes to plan a more inclusive curriculum, a more meaningful student experience, a more connected program K-12, and our role in the future of education.
And surely most of all, for the 1,050+ students and their 730+ families who provide the energy, the commitment, the resources, and the optimism that impel us forward hour to hour, year to year.
Here's hoping you make time to construct your own list and to recharge in the next two weeks,Vince