Dear Whitfield families, friends, students and alumni,
I really enjoy the energy around School this time of year. The students and teachers are in the final weeks of the academic year, and the Whitfield calendar is jammed packed with exciting end-of-year traditions and celebrations. Before I preview some of the events that are coming up later this month, I would like to reflect on a few of the outstanding activities we enjoyed in April.
Thank you to the more than 260 Whitfield volunteers who participated in our second annual day of service, Whitfield In Action, on Saturday, April 21, giving their time and talent to help area nonprofits. I had the opportunity to visit several work sites to see our volunteers in action serving others in the Greater St. Louis area. The generosity of the Whitfield community continues to amaze me.
I am still humming songs from “Meet Me In St. Louis,” and I bet many of you who saw this year's musical are as well. Congratulations to each and every one of the students in the cast and crew who delivered such an amazing show. The talent in our student body is impressive in so many ways.
Along those lines, the talent of our visual artists is on display in the halls with the Senior Retrospective. If you did not have an opportunity to attend the opening on April 25, please make a point to visit campus and enjoy the work that is on display from the front lobby to the balcony of Schmitter Gallery. Read the artists' statements and enjoy learning more about these talented young people.
Highlighting another area of the performing arts, our annual spring choral and band concerts are almost here. Middle school musicians perform their spring concert on Thursday, May 10, and the high school concert follows on Tuesday, May 15. Both events begin at 7:00 p.m. in Woods Hall. Our musicians are working diligently, and many of them are also presenting some of their pieces at the annual Six Flags music festival this week. I have to admit that I am a bit envious of our students; their hard work, combined with natural talent and wonderful teaching, has opened the world of music to them in a way that is delightful and entertaining. Both concerts will be enjoyable showcases of their musical talents.
Our annual Awards Day ceremony will be held Friday, May 18 at 8:00 a.m. in Woods Hall, celebrating the achievements of many of our students. This is also the day that the George A. Newton Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award is announced. The students are always eager to find out which teacher is going to receive the honor, and it is a favorite moment for faculty and staff as well.
Whitfield seniors are racing toward the last days of their high school careers. They will formally present their experiences from Senior Quest at the Senior Exhibition on Thursday, May 24 at 6:00 p.m. I frequently mention to parents that their kids’ senior years will fly by and they may not know which activity during the year might bring a tear to their eyes. If the tears are not shed on the evening of the Exhibition, I am fairly certain that we can anticipate a few tears of pride and happiness at Whitfield's commencement on Wednesday, May 30, also at 6:00 p.m.
I have given great thought to choosing a graduation speaker for this year’s senior class. I am thrilled to announce that my dear friend and mentor for many years, Dr. Mary L. Burke, Whitfield's Head of School from 1984-2004, has accepted my invitation to be this year's graduation speaker. The honor I feel in having Mary return to Whitfield for this special occasion, knowing that our incoming Head of School, John Delautre, will be joining us at graduation, is immense. To me, this union of past, present and future is the perfect way to set the stage for the School's 60th anniversary celebration which will begin in the fall of the 2012-2013 academic year.
Enjoy these last few weeks of school. For the seniors, new adventures at new places are right around the corner. For the rest of us, new adventures at Whitfield will be here before we know it.
Ruth E. Greathouse
Interim Head of School