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A New Tradition is Born: St. Luke’s Head’s Holiday

Click here for the Head’s Holiday photo gallery.

On Tuesday, Feb. 14, St. Luke’s students began their day with a special surprise. After gathering everyone for “an announcement”, Head of School Dr. Mary Halpin Carter, accompanied by her faithful companion Hefty the Golden Retriever, rode into the athletic center in style on a decked-out golf cart. She then announced that today would be Head’s Holiday — “a day where we do not have classes, and instead, we play!”

For the entire school day, students, faculty, and staff were smiling and laughing together as they participated in various activities, including zorb ball soccer, ping pong, yard games, a bouncy obstacle course, a video game truck, karaoke, arts & crafts, dancing at Disco Luca, student-faculty basketball and kickball, face painting, capturing moments in the photo booth, and so much more. They enjoyed delicious treats such as cookie dough, cotton candy, pizza, and popcorn, and for the seniors and faculty-staff, a coffee truck. Most importantly, the St. Luke’s community paused from the normal routine to find joy and camaraderie with their peers.


As Dr. Carter shared during her announcement: “One of the most important goals of St. Luke’s Strategic Plan is to fortify the community. We know the SLS community is already strong, but it is considered so valuable that we want to take it to another level. To a level where everybody feels they have a bond (like Hefty has with everyone here). Today, we get to create a new tradition, a tradition that is centered on bonding. A tradition that is centered on playing together and letting our hair down. The best kind of school to go to is a school where people aren’t just friendly, but where people seek to be friends — students, faculty, staff all friends with one another.”

HH Disco Luca

Pulling off a monumental surprise like this wasn’t easy. Faculty and staff were sworn to secrecy to ensure students would be completely surprised and wowed, and a 10-person committee was created to plan the day’s events.


“The Committee felt it was essential for each student to have a place where they felt included and comfortable, so we designed spaces with all students in mind,” said Laurel Scarozza, Head's Holiday Committee Chair and Executive Assistant to the Head of Middle School & Head of Upper School. “We hoped that no matter who you were, you could find belonging in one of our activities throughout the day.”

HH-Games, Chess_VIDEO

Parents were elated after finding out about Head’s Holiday — which was a surprise for them, too. Following the day, Dr. Carter received many notes of gratitude for launching the new tradition at St. Luke’s.


“My girls cannot stop talking about yesterday. What an incredible surprise and way to create community,” shared Andrea Lisher, a St. Luke’s Trustee, P’25, ‘29. Another parent, Vikktoria Cooper P’24, ‘28, commented, “Unbelievable! How can I become an SLS student?”

Head’s Holiday elevated school spirit and created memories that will remain long after students leave the Hilltop. The day brought joy and the opportunity to build connections, two sure-fire ways to help students thrive.

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St. Luke’s School is a secular (non-religious), 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.