From Center for Leadership Director Kate Parker-Burgard:
On Saturday, April 4, a group of St. Luke’s parents and faculty facilitators came together online to discuss issues of identity, community, and privilege (especially during this COVID-19 crisis). It was all part of the second annual Parent Social Justice Leadership Summit—a modified version of the experience our students have in the winter. While the original plans to meet in person shifted to a virtual gathering, the group eagerly embraced the chance to get to know each other better through some quality time together online.
The overall sentiment by parents and faculty alike was this was a unique opportunity to appreciate and understand each other on a deeper and more meaningful level. “I was skeptical about co-facilitating SJLS for parents during worldwide social distancing. Despite my concerns, our small group leaned into discomfort, shared from the ‘I’ perspective, and suspended judgment,” faculty leader Noel Thomas shared. “Given the pandemic, it was a great opportunity for us to discuss our concerns, too.” St. Luke’s parent Mayank Bhatnagar expressed appreciation for the conversation saying that it was a “nice opportunity to be introspective and have an important dialogue.”
It was particularly impactful to connect with each other in the midst of the COVID crisis. Head of Upper School Liz Perry commented, “It would have been easy to simply cancel the event. I’m grateful that this team of teachers kept our community moving forward in our mission to become more equitable and inclusive.” One parent noted the added benefit of experiencing a little bit of what students are getting in the classroom. “It was also helpful to gather on Zoom, since our students are taking classes on it. I appreciated the opportunity to experience the technology firsthand.”
It’s a tradition at SJLS to take a group photo and this year was no exception. In spite of being apart from each other, we still felt connected in community.
St. Luke’s School is a secular (non-religious), private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving over 30 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.