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           

Oh, What a Day!       -  

    and best memories of The Cathedral School comes

from my very first evensong in the Great Choir, the magnificent assembly space in The Cathedral of St. John the Divine where our school community periodically comes together for celebrations. Chaplain Patti Welch welcomed us to the new school year and talked about this special community—how we’re all part of something bigger and what that means. Something about her words lodged firmly in my mind, especially once I came to know the school better and understood how members of the Cathedral community celebrate and take care of each other. The idea that “we’re part of something bigger” remains one of the first things I think of and tell anyone when talking about the spirit and uniqueness of The Cathedral School. Nowhere is this idea more evident than in our Lower School assembly each Friday. Students, families, and faculty look forward to it each week; we wait with bated breath to see who’s performing, which class will be showcasing a project or collaborative effort, and what song we’ll sing in a rousing canon. We come together to celebrate our unique gifts and talents, to share with each other and cheer each other on, and to be thankful that we get to spend our time at Cathedral. Led by Laura Higgins, our Head of Lower School, we begin each assembly by singing “Oh, What a Day!”—a time-honored Cathedral tradition loved by students, teachers, and families alike. When asked what singing this song each week means to her, a second grader declared, “Oh, when I sing ‘Oh, What a Day!’ I love it—I know it’s going to be a great day!” I couldn’t put it better myself. While assembly is unequivocally special, it provides different kinds of opportunities for different members of our community. For some, assembly is a spirited time to let loose a little—a way to start our collective day with energy and excitement. I think of our frequent pairs of second grade joke tellers, or the numerous solo musicians who perform. Every presentation or performance elicits cheers or giggles from the Lower School community, and it’s clear from the proud smiles on presenting students’ own faces that they, too, feel invigorated by sharing their talents with us. To get up on that stage, students must feel considerable trust, comfort, and confidence; I believe our child-centered, developmentally-appropriate Lower School program truly supports our students in developing those valuable qualities and encourages them to embrace the kinds of opportunities afforded by our assembly. For others, assembly is a special time to showcase our school’s core values. Consider the example of a third grade class teaching about kindness: Not only must the students truly understand what it means to treat others with kindness in both big and small ways, they must also commit to planning, writing, and

TH E M A G A Z I N E O F TH E CATH E D RA L SC H OOL OF S T. J OH N T H E DI VI NE

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Profile for The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine

Cathedral Magazine (Winter 2014)  

Cathedral Magazine (Winter 2014)