“Tea today at the usual afternoon hour of 3:00. We'll be discussing the nuances of decorum—finding that classy line between celebrating one's victories while encouraging and lauding the worthy opponents one encounters in day-to-day activities. Indeed, lifting the human spirit is a reflection of supreme character. I expect nothing less from this talented group that I know it to be.”
Thus began the invitation to St. Luke’s Seniors from Julia Gabriele, St. Luke’s Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations. Gabriele, who is Acting Head of School while Mark Davis is on sabbatical, introduced a weekly tea, complete with a Russian samovar, as a way to connect with seniors: “Mark is a big proponent of student well-being and often speaks to students about mindfulness and being present. This is my form of that practice. Tea and talk are old-fashioned ways to slow down, take a breath, and share what’s on our minds.”
This particular tea was in advance of a basketball game against sports rival Greens Farms Academy. Hence, Gabriele’s note went on to say, “...this shall be a dry run for behavior I will insist upon (read: demand/require) at this evening's contest involving a ball that bounces and a well-regarded educational institution in Westport.”
“I’m not sure that teaching good manners and civility to young people gets the attention it deserves,” says Gabriele. “Making sure our students leave St. Luke’s with respect for all and a strong moral compass is central to our mission. That’s something we focus on every day, in class and out, and with every little sip of tea.”
St. Luke’s School is a secular private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 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.