Conversations With Julie Galles
Dear Wesley Families -
Last week, I walked out into my garden and my mouth dropped open. There, in the bright, late-February sunshine, was a stunning (and quite large) pink rose, the first of the season. Although I had walked by that rose bush a number of times in the preceding days, I had missed the bud quietly growing before bursting forth in full glory and fragrance.The more I think about it, the more that beautiful flower symbolizes what is happening at Wesley.
Late last fall, the rose bush was pruned back quite severely, such that it resembled a sad collection of thorny sticks. I wondered more than once throughout December and January if it would be okay. Schools all across our county were also “pruned back severely” in the rage of the pandemic from late November through late January. We could not have children on campus. We suspended after school athletic conditioning. Most faculty and staff worked from home. While we were surviving, from the outside we probably resembled a sad collection of thorny sticks.
And yet, throughout those tough winter months, both for my rose bush and for the school, life was moving, persistent and determined. Our students and teachers continued to push learning forward. Our twice weekly virtual Community meetings brought moments of joy and reflection. Generous donors responded to the call of our Annual Fund, “Educate for Good.” Our wonderful Parents’ Association, with the support of so many generous parents, planned several community-wide events that helped us all stay connected to each other and to the mission of the Wesley family. Indeed, inside we were still very much alive.
Starting on February 3rd, that life became more and more visible. First, the laughter of Kindergarteners filled Kinderland, and the following week, the joyful play of 1st and 2nd graders could be heard as well. These grades were back on campus full time, with those selecting to continue on-line learning “zooming” in. Mid-month, our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students started their return to campus as well, and as of today, our entire Lower School is full time - truly bursting forth in full bloom.
My back yard rose bush has at least ten other buds, some already starting to open. So, too, do we have 6th, 7th, and 8th graders enjoying their initial days on campus. I am confident that, very soon, all of our hallways and classrooms will be filled (in a safely distanced way) with Wesley students from age five to fourteen, along with the devoted faculty and staff that shepherd them.
Thank you to all of you, near and far, who cheer for and support this special community. My utmost gratitude goes to the amazing faculty and staff who inspire me every day with their devotion to the academic and character development of children and to the Wesley families, who trust us with their most beloved ones.
Interim Head of School