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Happy Holidays from the Head of School

Dear Rowland Hall Families and Friends,

For many, the holiday season is an exceptionally busy time. Travel, shopping, celebrations, and performances fill our calendars, and it’s common to feel overwhelmed by all we need to accomplish. When I’m feeling overwhelmed—whether during the holidays or other times of year—one of the things I like to do to center myself is spend time with Rowland Hall students. They inspire me to keep learning, and they remind me how much hope and passion the next generation possesses.

I’ve been lucky this fall to have some truly memorable experiences with our students. The first that comes to mind is something I do every year: reading to the kindergarten through fifth-grade classes. It’s a tradition I started 26 years ago, and one that brings me incredible joy, as I get to portray characters with the students and we all laugh together. For years, my mother was a part of this tradition too, and she shared my joy in being able to connect with the students during these reading sessions. I’ve also recently engaged in multiple thought-provoking conversations with Upper School students about how to best create and sustain an inclusive learning environment for everyone at Rowland Hall.

Additional standout moments this fall include watching our varsity girls soccer team repeat as 2A state champions. They played with remarkable skill, determination, and camaraderie, and represented the kind of team spirit and sportsmanship we strive for at Rowland Hall. I also loved seeing our fall play, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which I thought I would miss due to a conference but was able to attend after my flight landed early. The energy and enthusiasm of our student actors made me forget the long day of travel I’d had, and I was truly impressed by the humor and depth of their performance.

A few students and alumni have written me this fall following the news of my upcoming retirement in 2020. I cannot tell you how much it means to me to hear from current and former students about how Rowland Hall has changed their lives for the better. It’s what all educators hope for: to make a lasting, positive impact on the world through our relationships with students.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and winter break, and I hope that, amid the hustle and bustle, you can find those peaceful and joyful moments to connect with what you value most.


Alan Sparrow

More Letters from the Head

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