School Year Off to a Busy Start!

By Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

ReedDunkedWhat a “Welcome Back” week it has been! Starting with the fabulous Back-to-School Picnic last Saturday, it has been a beehive of activity on the Goshen Campus. First, major accolades to Jim DeNicola and crew for making our campus look so beautiful and picturesque. And, of course, the main attraction Saturday was the brand new Middle School Playground! When Alexandra cut the ribbon at noon, our older kids swarmed the new addition to our recess area, exploring and trying out every station (and finding out that some were very much the challenge!). I must say I tried it all out myself (more of a “danger assessment” trip, if you will) and woke up a little sore Sunday morning! This new playground built specifically for Middle School students complements our wildly popular Lower School and Preschool playgrounds and provides more structured (and supervised!) activities for our older kids.

The picnic is such a community-building way to start the new year and meet new families, welcome back alums, and interact with students and parents of all ages, Preschool through High School. Last year’s Goshen Class of 2015 received their yearbooks and a first look at their Alumni Walkway bricks, the athletic scrimmages and games were in full swing, Chef Matt had the grill sizzling as usual,  and certain brave teachers (yours truly included) even “took a bath” in the dunking booth. I’d like to say the water was warm and toasty, but  … (all for a good cause!).

FirstDayofSchool_5Tuesday brought our first day of school and the Main Amp was ALIVE with energy as students and parents crowded in to start the new year. It was easy to see our numbers are up, and the overall sound certainly left no doubt! Many “first day” pictures were snapped, and our new students (and teachers) didn’t miss a beat. Likewise, the first Middle School Morning Meeting also demonstrated our growth! 6th Grade teacher Shelly Jones snapped a couple of pictures showing our “standing-room only” crowd. With three travel groups in most of our grades, we are clearly on an upward curve. Of course this brings a few “hiccups” in the first week, but we are ironing all those out and getting the year flowing smoothly. The new later start time has really seemed a positive change, and I hope our students will maintain their normal bedtimes to take advantage of this precious slice of extra sleep.

Finally, I took a picture of a “Thank You” card that new student Collen Torrans made for us in appreciation for coming to St. Francis (from Indiana no less!). It appears she understands our community, and the beautiful artwork and heartfelt message gave us goosebumps.

Happy 2015-16, everyone!!ReedArticle