Our Wildwood, Winter 2017, Volume 40
l e t t e r f r o m l a n d i s
THIS ISSUE OF OUR WILDWOOD FOCUSES ON ONE of the seven Habits of Mind and Heart: The Habit of Connection. Ironically, I’ve sometimes found this Habit to be a challenging one with which to connect! Yet now I understand it to be timely in so many ways. This year prompts us to reflect as a nation on a contentious presidential election that exposed deep divisions in our country, perhaps as dramatic as ever before. The early days of a new administration did little to ease that contention. Connection may be one of the last words that come to mind when we think about the tragic chasm that exists between people with various perspectives within our society. But by combining Connection with some of the other Habits—namely Perspective and Common Good—we can begin to build much-needed bridges, politics aside. I can’t think of a better time to supply the world with the collection of young people I’m privileged to see in action each and every day at Wildwood School. They give me hope. They should give you hope, too. Connection is exemplified, too, in those who steward our mission—past, present, and future. Lyle Poncher, past Board chair and current trustee, has served on our Board for more than a quarter century and was one of the driving forces behind our expansion to K-12. He’s in good company with John Friedman, another trustee who has dedicated the last 25 years in service to the future of our decidedly progressive, bold, dynamic, and soulful school and community. Their efforts, along with dozens of other current and past trustees, and their support of our current Board Chair Lisa Flashner and Board Chair-Elect Joel Brand illustrate the vital connection between the past, present, and future of Wildwood. During this year, my 10th here at Wildwood, I’ve been thinking about the connection between past, present, and future. My reflection has included pointed conversations with past and present parents, current and former trustees, colleagues on both campuses, and alumni. I’ve been asking them to share how they’ve seen
Wildwood School build on strengths and address stretches over the course of the decade we’ve been in this work together. It has been affirming, celebratory, and at times sobering to connect past to present and future. And it’s been an honor for which I’m grateful. I plan to share what I’ve learned from these conversations at this spring’s annual State of School on April 25, using my Senior Institute colleagues’ work on a revised Senior Exhibition framework to provide a structure for my talk. It will be my 11th State
of School, since I was invited to speak at the spring 2007 event several months before I arrived to begin my work as head of school. Please mark it on your calendar and come. The connections that we share—with each other and between those who ground us in our history and those who represent our future—are more important than ever. At the center of it all are our students, who are so fortunate to be in our care and to have our faith. I hope that you will enjoy reading this issue of Our Wildwood as much as those involved have enjoyed preparing it.
Landis Green Head of School
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