This past weekend proved to be another outstanding Flint Hill adventure.  Last Friday, we had the parent conferences and throughout the weekend, I kept hearing reports from parents complimenting our faculty and staff for such a great job. Parents reported how excited they were to know that their children are in a school where the faculty and staff truly know their children and truly know everything about them. One Lower School parent even wrote to share her experience Friday. She marveled at the time provided helping her and her husband know their children as “learners” even better. She wrote, “It struck us that nowhere else would we have teachers who truly knew our kids, and truly cared for them as much as their teachers do. We are so grateful they will grow up loving to go to school, and getting the best education they possibly can!” Such reports are really heartwarming to hear an indicator of the culture we have worked hard to develop here at school.

And on Saturday, The Holiday Shoppes at Flint Hill was also a huge success.  It was exciting to see the number of people flooding in the doors and the outstanding vendors who participated.  The whole atmosphere was welcoming, caring, and supportive. Special thanks go Karen Eye, Amanda Yousefi, Lisa Benn, Bridget Montagne, all the parent volunteers, and the entire Flint Hill faculty and staff who jumped in to help in so many different ways. It was a very special day!

We also had great performances in athletics. Our girls volleyball team won their second consecutive state title. That is a huge accomplishment. They have had an amazing run this season and it was exciting to see them ending on such a positive and successful note. The football team also performed well making it to the state semifinals. While they lost their game in Richmond against the top seed, they should stand tall and be very proud of all that they have accomplished during this very exciting season. The fall athletic season is now officially over and all of our Huskies should be very proud of their achievements in each sport as a team, their individual efforts, and the spirit and tone they helped set for the start of this school year.

And this afternoon, we hosted a ceremony to celebrate five students who formally signed their “Division 1 and II” letters of intent.  Congratulations to: Katherine Doyle, Women’s lacrosse, Bucknell University; Tommy Doyle, baseball, the University of Virginia; Bryce Johnson, golf, the College of William & Mary; Erica Narel, volleyball, North Carolina State University; and Victoria Robinson, women’s basketball, Queens College. In February 2014, we will host our traditional annual ceremony to celebrate all of the students who intend to play college sports. Today, however, is the “official” signing day for Division I and II sports and we are proud of our great student-athlete-leaders and honored to join with them and their families on this exciting day.

In addition to all this wonderful news, on Sunday, our admission office hosted a series of open houses in various homes throughout this area. People reported back that each and every one of those events, were very positive, welcoming, and a great way to showcase everything that Flint Hill has to offer to prospective families. The format was great and the momentum we feel every day here was shared with everyone. I want to thank the admission team for their hard work and dedication during this busy season.

And to finalize this list of great news and our sense of going “beyond expectations” in all that we do, we have just received notification from the Apple Corporation that Flint Hill has been named an “Apple Distinguished School for 2013-2015.”  This recognition was given to us because, in their words, we have “an exemplary learning environment for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence.” At present, I believe, this makes us the only school in this region of the country to have this distinction. They noted in their letter, “The administration and faculty at Flint Hill School have shown that they demonstrate the five best practices of an Apple Distinguished School: visionary leadership, innovative learning and teaching, ongoing professional learning, compelling evidence of success, and a flexible learning environment.” We are pleased that our faculty, staff, and students have received this well-deserved recognition. Special thanks to Technology Integration Department Chair Melissa Scott and Dean of Faculty Emily Sanderson for leading the way in applying for this honor and helping to set the example of our commitment to learning at all levels.

We are fortunate to be in a great school where tremendous things are happening on a daily basis.  The “AHA” moments referenced in our recent viewbook are visible and tangible!