Conversations With Julie Galles
Dear Wesley Families -
Connection. From the Latin con meaning together and nectere meaning to bind. Literally, to be bound together.
This is what I have been continually discovering over my first 20 days as the new Interim Head of School. The Wesley community is bound together. It has been a tumultuous summer, as the combination of the pandemic, the socio-political climate, racial and civil unrest, and the untimely loss of Wesley’s beloved Ernie Levroney converged. Fear, grief, anger, anxiety, and frustration have no doubt been frequent and deep emotions within our community. And yet in my initial conversations, the bonds between faculty, staff, administration, parents, students, alumni, and friends have been the most mentioned aspects of The Wesley School. Certainly not for everyone all the time, but for most people most of the time, which is more than can be said for many schools or other similar organizations.
As we enter the fall, our continuing focus must be on preserving and strengthening these bonds. Students learn most effectively and joyfully when they feel seen by and connected to their teachers. Parents feel more confidence and trust when they are connected with the school adults partnering with them in raising their children. Faculty, staff, and administration can engage in more productive and collaborative conversations when they connect around a common mission and purpose.
Being bound together can, however, also be challenging. At times, we have to give up individual desires for the benefit of the whole. Compromises and sacrifices become important to maintain the health of the whole community. Sometimes we have to speed up or slow down to accommodate all members of our community. However, the benefits of true connection far outweigh temporary inconvenience or frustration. We emerge stronger and more focused, with increased positive energy and dedication to each other.
Last year, Ernie demonstrated his commitment to equity and inclusion and put several important wheels in motion toward that end. Those wheels are still turning as I engage with the community to continue and further this vital work. Only through consistent and determined efforts can we uncover, examine, and overturn systemic racism and create a school where all children and adults feel seen, heard, and valued. With persistence and patience, we work toward a place where academic excellence, character development, and a deep-seated belief in the dignity and humanity of every individual will define The Wesley School.
I am proud and humbled to be bound to you all and look forward to the coming year.
Interim Head of School