University School of Jackson

Headnotes: The Opportunity That is 2022

January 3, 2022

 

Greetings Bruins Families,

I recently read a post from marketing author Seth Godin, in which he penned, “This is the most normal the world is ever going to be again.” Initially, the statement took me back, but upon further consideration, I have found this argument to be a liberating baseline in thinking about the days ahead. The pandemic and the related political, economic, and social repercussions have brought out the worst and the best in people. While exposing cultural divisions and pent-up frustrations, which have risen all too often to the surface, the challenging times we have experienced since the spring of 2020 have also resulted in so many rising to the occasion to meet the needs of their fellow man.
 

Healthcare workers have served through uncertainties not seen during our generation to treat those in desperate need, teachers who braved the classroom in spite of the pandemic weathered not only health challenges but took on the fears of apprehensive parents and anxious students alike to grow our students. Workers in so many fields continued to produce and deliver products consumers wanted while persevering in jobs that workers needed. 
 

And during these times, we have learned. We should be reminded that learning does not happen in spite of difficulty but because of it. Growth is change and simply stated, change is hard. No one is congenitally a Rhodes scholar, a great leader, a virtuoso violinist, or an all-pro quarterback. All must put in the work to become whom we are called to be. Godin’s statement reminds me that the challenges of life will not get easier, nor should we want them to. We must get better.
 

As I have shared in prior communications, USJ is working through the process of developing a new 5-year strategic plan. With the help of a consultant and using input from school stakeholders, the Board of Trustees, along with school leadership, is developing a long-term plan that will continue to chart the positive course of our school and grow our students. We are playing the long game and, in doing so, will meet the needs of our students, develop our faculty, improve our campus, and strengthen the community of USJ. Exciting days are ahead of us.
 

However, let us make no mistake in stating that, in addition to long-term planning, success depends on what we do today and, therefore, this year. We are preparing our students for life, but we have the opportunity to shape them as they live their lives today. It is incumbent upon us as teachers, parents, and students to show up, go to practice, do our homework, and most certainly, stay positive today. We all want to accomplish great things, and in doing so, we must embrace today’s meeting, algebra lesson, and science project. Building this daily discipline can be arduous, and it is supposed to be. As a parent and educator, I desire not for our children to regularly experience “easy” tests or athletic opponents who fail to push us but to learn to overcome difficult challenges.
 

As 2022 unfolds, we may not experience a “more normal world”; life tends to present us with new and unexpected situations. I choose to accept them and am truly appreciative of your trust and partnership as we continue to be obedient in advancing our school’s mission. For USJ to reach our collective potential and to continue to be the light in this community we are called to be, we must do our part and answer the call today. 
 

Happy New Year, and Go Bruins!

Let’s Get to Work,

Don Roe

Head of School

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