Almost 200 Priory families, new and returning, celebrated back-to-school week at Monday’s Rebel Round-Up. The program began at 5:30 p.m. in the Kevin Kline Theatre, where Headmaster Father Gregory welcomed guests and offered a prayer for the new school year. Assistant Headmaster Dr. Jared Rashford continued the program with remarks on ambitions and aspirations (see below for excerpts from his address), before introducing our new faculty. He presented nine teachers, one of whom is profiled in today’s Rebel News. (You’ll be introduced to all of our new faculty in upcoming Rebel News issues, so stay tuned!)
The new faculty received a warm round of applause, and then everyone headed outside to enjoy a delicious dinner, a robust student activities fair, gorgeous weather, and the company of new and returning Priory families, faculty, staff, and monks. The student activities fair featured information on the Priory RoboRebels (robotics club), the Record (student newspaper), the Juggling Club, Chaplaincy, Choir, and more. Form I students reconnected with friends they met over the summer and introduced themselves to new classmates, while veteran students caught up with old friends. Families perused the Blazer Sale and stocked up on Priory gear at the Campus store. The camaraderie lasted into the night, which was filled with laughter, introductions, and reminiscing. Rebel Round-Up 2016 was a wonderful introduction to the new school year.
Many thanks to Tina Pilla, Assistant to the Office of the Headmaster, for planning and coordinating the event, and Food Service Consultants for their delicious picnic dinner of hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad and chips. Thank you, also, to our dedicated facilities staff for setting up tables and chairs and readying our campus for another successful academic year.
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Dr. Jared Rashford’s Address
It is with pleasure and great joy that I welcome all of you officially back to campus for Rebel Round-Up as we kick off the 2016-17 school year. For those students, parents and families who are new to Priory, today’s celebration hopefully marks the first of what will be many more such occasions through which you are able to experience a sense of belonging and commitment to, not just our school community, but the larger Abbey family to which Father Gregory and his fellow monks have vowed their life’s work and service.
As I was preparing my very brief comments to mark the beginning of a new academic year, I stumbled upon a recent interview with a former hedge-fund manager turned social entrepreneur that caught my attention. Mr. Sam Polk, now in his early 30s, left a lucrative position on Wall Street to found Everytable, a start-up that aims to provide healthier dietary alternatives for those in need in Southern Los Angeles. Mr. Polk spoke of the inherent ambitions and aspirations within each of us that serve to motivate much of what we set out to do in life.
Our ambitions, he suggests, push us to achieve personal, and even collective, success. For students, these successes are often recognized in the grades you receive in your classes or your standardized test scores, the individual and team victories garnered on the course, the court, or the field, and the acceptances you are ultimately offered to attend any number of outstanding colleges and universities. As a school that seeks to provide a college-preparatory education of the highest excellence, I encourage each of you this year to take advantage of the many aspects of our program of study that are designed to help you realize these good and worthwhile ambitions.
Our aspirations, on the other hand, drive us to want to make a positive contribution to the various communities to which we belong. At Priory, such contributions are often experienced in developing healthy relationships with your classmates, working collaboratively with your teammates, finding ways to mentor or support a younger student on campus, and doing your part to lessen the individual sufferings of all of those around us that remain an inevitable part of the mystery of this life. As a school rooted in the teachings of Saint Benedict, I encourage each of you this year to consider how you can better seek to love Christ and neighbor by growing in humility and obedience as you aspire to develop in the Christian virtues of stewardship and hospitality.
Priory’s administrators, faculty, and coaches have all agreed to fulfill the mission of our school to help talented and motivated young men develop their full potential as children of God. One way we aim to do this is by working to nurture a sense of community by finding strength and purpose in supporting one another. Our new and returning faculty members have agreed to take up the important responsibility of supporting our students, their families, and each other.
I want to remind the students to explore the many extracurricular offerings available at Priory and consider ways that you can participate more fully in the life of the school.
On behalf on the entire Priory faculty and staff, I wish each of you a blessed, successful school year. Thank you.