I remember the first time that I stepped foot on St. George’s campus. I originally came to campus as a New Orleans musician alongside a couple of others to showcase instruments for Pre-K4. We played for the students, and then they were encouraged to ask questions. That’s when I noticed how knowledgeable these children were on the subject. I remember thinking to myself how impressive it was to have four-year-olds asking questions using musical terms such as tempo. I was blown away by how hands-on this project was.
The next year, I became the Pre-K music teacher. I again was overwhelmed by how inquisitive and curious the students were at St. George’s. This was because every teacher was fostering a curiosity for life-long learning in every minute of their day.
I stepped away from St. George’s to pursue a career in marketing, and I found myself constantly checking the school’s social media accounts and website just to see if any of my previous students had been featured; I found myself missing the St. George’s atmosphere. In the summer of 2019, I was asked if I was interested in a position for Band Teacher and Librarian at St. George’s. I quickly accepted!
My first year has been nothing less than miraculous. I truly feel supported in everything that I do from teaching to ordering lunch with colleagues. Every single staff and faculty member at St. George’s has made me feel more loved than I have ever felt at any job that I have had. I remember after the first month of teaching, I met a friend for coffee, and they asked me how my job was going. I laughed and said, “I’m a little confused. Everyone is just so happy and supportive all of the time. I’m waiting to see when that goes away. It can’t hold up forever!” I was very wrong.
I had no idea that March 12th would be the last time I saw my students this year. The pandemic of 2020 was something that came out of left-field for most Americans. I was disheartened to know that I wouldn’t be seeing my kids in person for a while, and when we received the information from our Governor that we would not be coming back to school for the rest of the year, I was even more upset. How would we uphold our community without seeing each other in person?
I have to tell you that this situation has shown me what really sets St. George’s apart from any other school that I have stepped foot in. St. George’s is truly a community and has strengthened more than I thought possible during this difficult time. A truly strong community isn’t just an army of talented faculty; it’s a force to be reckoned with, comprised of amazing students, parents and supporters working faithfully behind the scenes. As I received my lunch from Iacovone Kitchen for Teacher Appreciation Week, I started to think about how every single member of the St. George’s Community has enriched my life in some way this year.
We have been seeing through our television and computer screens how in the face of adversity, people come together. Within our community, our chefs have provided meals, our medical professionals have provided information and safety, our skilled parents have provided comfort and love to their families and our faculty,and our tech team has provided support for teachers and families alike… and even some ideas for Google! A sign of a truly strong community is that every person takes their unique talents and skills and puts them to work to lift each other up. That is what I have seen happen each and every day at St. George's.
I know that this experience has been scary and difficult for a lot of people, but I feel more empowered and emboldened than I have felt in my life. I wanted to take this moment to thank the entire St. George’s Community for making my first year feel special and increasing my faith in humanity. This year has taken a turn that we did not see coming, but I feel so lucky and proud to be a part of a community that truly perseveres, maintains integrity and respect, and extends tons of compassion. I can’t wait to see what’s next for this school, and I’m so proud to be a part of this community.
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