Dear Priory Families,
As I write this letter, more than two months have gone by since our commencement exercises for the Class of 2016. I hope that you have been able to use some of this summer to come together as families and enjoy some well-deserved recreation. Having just returned from one final small trip to visit with one of my sisters and her family, I am always grateful for the opportunity we are given each year to reunite with those who have played such an important role in our own family life.
I want to take a few moments to welcome you back to school and share some important items that will prove helpful in preparation for the start of the year. By this time, you should have received all of the information you need for accessing class lists in NetClassroom and ordering your classroom materials through MBS Direct. Students are expected to have all required texts for the first day of classes. All boys should report to advisory on the first day of school, Wednesday, August 24, no later than 8 a.m. Signs will be posted throughout the buildings indicating the locations of the respective advisory meetings. Advisors will distribute student schedules at this time. After advisory, we will begin with our all-school Mass at 8:15 a.m. in the Abbey Church. As such, please remember that boys should dress for Mass on August 24. Please refer to the Student Handbook, which has been updated on the Priory website for the start of school, for specific procedures for attendance and signing in and out of school throughout the year; contact Carrie Lane (Junior School) or Stephanie Kirsch (High School) with any questions. Please note: you must be logged in to see the Student Handbook.
As Father Gregory explained in an earlier communication this summer, there have been some changes to the administrative structure of the school beginning this year. In my role as Assistant Headmaster, I remain responsible for supervising the various administrative offices of the school, including Admissions, Athletics, College Counseling, Communications, and Technology. Additionally, I will continue to work with our academic department heads on matters pertaining to overall program development and faculty hiring and formation.
The office of the Director of Student Life has been eliminated. Instead, Mike Nickolai ’03 has been appointed Director of the High School and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the High School. Diana Hartnett remains as Director of the Junior School. Both Directors of the Junior School and the High School are the primary liaisons between the school administration and parents, and they will address all parent concerns regarding student performance and behavior, course selection and scheduling, and division-specific programming. Please contact Mike or Diana directly with any question you might have about your son’s classes and involvement in the overall curricular program of the school.
Whereas some of the responsibilities formerly assigned to the Director of Student Life have been transferred to the Directors of the High School and the Junior School, two seminal duties have been assigned to other faculty members. Brandon McLaughlin has accepted the position of Student Council (STUCO) faculty moderator and, in that capacity, will work closely with our student leaders in the High School. Andrew Erker ’11, our new Computer Science teacher, will take over as faculty moderator for the Tutoria program. A former active participant in the program himself, Andrew visited the Benedictine community in Chile twice as a student while at Priory and is well-prepared and excited to help guide our current students to a deeper understanding of Benedictine spiritually inherent in the Manquehue apostolic movement. Please feel free to reach out to either Brandon or Andrew for any matters related to STUCO or Tutoria.
I encourage you to be on the lookout for improved school communications this year. Every Monday beginning August 22, you’ll receive a This Week at Priory email that lists all events, schedule changes, and other vital information for the week ahead in a simple, easy-to-read format. Rebel News, our official school newsletter with feature articles, biographies, student accomplishments and more, has been redesigned and is moving to every other Friday. We anticipate sending the first Rebel News issue on Friday, August 26.
Lastly, I wanted to remind everyone that only padlocks purchased from the Campus Store or Carrie Lane, in the Junior School, can be used on school lockers. The High School locker assignments will be posted on the message board in the main hallway, and Mrs. Lane will distribute the Junior School assignments to our 7th and 8th grade boys. Students may set up their lockers and visit the Campus Store during any of the following time periods:
- Monday-Thursday, Aug. 15-18: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Friday, Aug. 19: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
- Monday, Aug. 22: 3-8 p.m. (coincides with Rebel Round Up)
- Tuesday, Aug. 23: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
On behalf of the administration, faculty, and staff, I look forward to welcoming all of our students back to campus over the next few weeks. Don’t forget to join us for Rebel Round-Up on Monday, Aug. 22, at 5:30 p.m., where students can explore numerous ways to become involved in the life of the school at the clubs and activities fair and where our newest faculty members will be introduced to the community. You’ll also have the opportunity to check out our updated student gathering spaces with new furniture made possible by generous donations to last year’s Xanadu Fund-A-Need. In the meantime, if there is anything you need answered, please do not hesitate to contact any of us, and we will do what we can to either provide you the information you seek or direct you to someone who can.
Dr. Jared M. Rashford
Saint Louis Priory School