This morning, like last year, we gathered our Casady students in first through 12th grades for a special Chapel service to open our first day of school. We revisited the discussion of the Latin phrase, Fideliter et Fortiter, which is on the banner of the Casady crest and that those words mean faithfully and bravely. Head of School Nathan Sheldon discussed with the children that the shoulders of those who came before us are the foundation on which we continue to build this great School.
He would like to encourage you to visit more with your children about what they can expect from our faculty and in return what will be expected of them and how we will continue to build on the strong legacy that is Casady School. For that, we should be proud of who we are and what we represent.
Chapel began with the blessing and prayers from Fr. Charles Blizzard, followed by Mr. Sheldon's Chapel talk, and closed with the Casady Hymn. Please take a few minutes to read Mr. Sheldon's Chapel talk so that you can understand our focus and how best to continue talking with your children:
Good morning everyone and welcome back!
I hope everyone had a great summer filled with lots of play time, friend time, family time, alone time, and all other forms of rest and relaxation that makes you ready for another great year at Casady.
Last year, as we gathered for our first ever all school chapel, I can recall the sense of excitement and nervousness I felt as I stood before you and talked about the meaning of our Crest and the Latin words Fideliter et Fortiter. As many of you know, the Latin phrase on our banner just under the Casady Crest means faithfully and bravely.
So, I have now been your Head of School for about a year, and I have come to realize something: the shoulders of the faculty and students who have gone to Casady before us are really, really big. You see, these giants, who are now Emeriti and Alumni, built this great School. Teachers came here to teach when Britton and Penn were dirt roads out in the country. Students came here to learn when Casady School was a “never-heard-of-it-School” for colleges and universities. We want to make sure we have the faith in God, in ourselves, and in each other to continue to build on this legacy. And we want to make sure we have the courage to improve ourselves as individuals and to improve the School, to build on this legacy.
You come to Casady through loyalty and with faith that we will give you something of value. Specifically, a great education that you can take with you and use for the rest of your lives. This is a humbling and awesome responsibility that each and every one of your teachers takes very seriously. They have dedicated their lives to this responsibility.
Today, I want to talk with you about expectations. What you and I can expect from your teachers here at Casady, and as I do, it will be clear that I also want to talk about what your teachers will be expecting from you.
First, you can expect your teachers to be prepared and knowledgeable. When you combine all their years of experience in Music, PE, Computer, Bible, History, Languages, English, Math, and Sciences all together, you get more than 1,600 years! Which averages out to around 15 years per teacher. Your teachers know and understand where your learning will get difficult, and they are ready and willing to guide you through each of these difficult times. So, for your own sake and out of respect for what they represent, honor them with your careful attention and give them your best effort.
When you give your teachers your best effort, they will be better able to get you ready for the next academic challenge. Your teachers know, that if you put in the hard work and effort, you can accomplish almost anything you set your sights on, and they are ready to help you reach your goals.
Breadth of Education
Second, you can expect your teachers to be concerned about more than just the subject matter they teach to you. They will support you in your extra-curricular activities, from clubs to performing arts and athletics. They know and understand that these activities are all very important in your development as a whole child. However, your teachers can’t support you in a sport or activity if you don’t take the risks and try them, so go on… participate! Get involved in extra-curricular activities. Your teachers want to support you. And, if you want to know a secret: Don’t ask your teachers, “Are you coming to my game, or to my concert, or to my recital;” tell your teachers that it would mean a lot if they could be there. If they can be there, they will be there.
Challenge for Excellence and Honesty
Third, you can expect your teachers to be concerned that you provide your best effort in everything you do: your classwork, your homework, your sportsmanship, and your social life. Your teachers believe that you can and will be successful in whatever you pursue. When your teachers reward average performance with a really high grade, they are not being honest with you. You see, assessments are ways for you to measure growth, and, when a teacher is not honest with you, you get a false sense of what you really know. This is also true for you. If, when you are doing your homework, taking a quiz, or a test and you look at someone else’s work, you are not being honest with yourself, and you are giving your teacher a false sense of what you know and understand. If you sit in a teacher’s class and look like you understand something when you don’t have a clue what’s going on, or when you don’t ask questions when you have them, you give your teacher a false sense of what you know and understand.
Lead by Example
Fourth, you can expect your teachers and administrators to be role models that you can look up to and follow. They care about you and about your personal conduct and behavior. They will abide by the Casady standard and dress code and will help you to do so as well. There will be times that you may slip and slide a bit and need some discipline to bring you back to the person you are working to become. When or if this happens, you can expect your teachers and administrators to correct you out of love, care, and concern. I don’t expect teachers to be perfect, and I don’t expect you to be perfect, but I do expect everyone on this campus to work towards perfect effort.
Kindness and Love
Fifth and finally, Casady teachers and administrators will be kind, caring, and loving. Your teachers promise to be there when you need them. If you fall down on the playground, your teachers are there to pick you up. If you are having a bad day, your teacher will be there just to listen. If you need help standing up to peer pressure that you know is not good, they promise to be there to help you say “no.” If you need extra help, your teachers will find a way to give you extra help as long as you are willing to work towards understanding the skills that are being taught. Your teachers will find for each of you the amount of challenge and the right amount of help, but you have to help them find that balance.
You see, your teachers are pretty awesome, and they do some pretty awesome things to get you ready for your next step: whether that next step is college for you seniors or second grade for you first graders and everything else in between. They are excited and ready for your return, and I hope you are excited and ready to stretch and grow in new and exciting ways.
Remember always, you are Casady, and, in everything you do, you will either add to or take away from her name. So let’s have a great year, remembering who we are and what we represent both when we are at School and when we are out of School. Let’s grow, learn, and behave together in such a way that future generations will be proud to stand on our shoulders.
These expectations are not only for our children but for our faculty, staff, board members, alumni, and parents as well. Once we join the Casady Community we are forever connected to this School. Our Community, which dates back to our founding year in 1947, is large and stands the test of time because of the shoulders and foundation on which this School has been built. We will always be part of the Casady Community and as a result we must always remember who we are and what we represent.
See the video of the students singing: Casady Hymn on YouTube