On Friday, May 5, Lower School students quietly gathered on the quad, armed with sock puppets they had made, and waited to greet Alan Sparrow. It was a role reversal—he loves to welcome young students with puppets every morning—but one that had been secretly planned for weeks. They waited for Alan to walk out the doors of the lobby, and then they burst into a chorus of "Happy Birthday."
However, the fact that May 5 is Alan's birthday was incidental to the real reason for the celebration. Students, faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees Chair Jennifer Price-Wallin came together to honor Alan's 25 years of service to Rowland Hall, and declare May 5 as Alan Sparrow Day. Photo boards displayed images of Alan throughout his life, marking significant events, as well as evolving fashion trends and hairstyles. In addition to the morning gathering at the Lower School, students on the Lincoln Street Campus celebrated at lunchtime with pizza and live music. Both events included remarks from school leaders about the contributions Alan has made during his tenure as head of school.
Alan was both surprised and moved by the day and said it's the students that give him energy and make the job rewarding. "I don't like to think of it as coming to work every day," he said. "I come to school every day." For Rowland Hall's head learner, that sounds just about right.