Message from Mr. Nickolai — Aug. 20, 2021

Dear Priory families,

As we prepare for a return to school next week, I know that this year is not quite starting off like we had hoped it would. I have heard from many of you in recent weeks as we have all tried to adapt and prepare ourselves for another school year that is still not quite “normal.” And while I do not enjoy the additional burdens that are being placed on the members of our school community as a result of the pandemic, I still find myself grateful for the things that are taking a step closer to normal this year.

On Sunday afternoon we will have an in-person orientation for our newest Ravens. While we managed to do these sorts of orientations on Zoom last fall, I think we can all agree that the in-person model allows us to better demonstrate our Benedictine hospitality to those who are joining this wonderful community.

On Monday we will be gathering for Raven Round Up, an event that did not occur in 2020. It will provide a chance to come together as a community of students, teachers, and parents. I am looking forward to seeing the club leaders manning their tables at the Roundup activity fair, and I hope that many students will be able to get connected with a club or activity that interests them.

August has also meant the start of practices for our high school fall athletes, and competitions are right around the corner. A year ago, it was uncertain whether or not there would be any fall seasons. This year, I am looking forward to the opportunity of cheering on our teams with a lively student section once again.

I know many of you are looking forward to the return of lunch in the Dining Hall. I can assure you that our Dining Hall staff is equally excited to be back in that space as well after a year of Herculean efforts to serve lunch down at the gym.  

I am also looking forward to the return to traditions like STUCO Assemblies, pep rallies, all-school Masses, and, yes, even coat-and-tie dress code. (By the way, I know of at least a few students who missed coat-and-tie last year).

So as you look through this edition of the Raven Report, try not to lament the safety measures that are preventing us from our preferred “normal.” Rather, I would encourage you to get excited about the opportunities of community building that lie ahead for all of us. The traditions and events that were put on hold last year now seem more precious than before.

I look forward to seeing all of you next Thursday for our first day. Don’t forget your coat and tie!


Mr. Mike Nickolai '03
Assistant Head of School for Human and Spiritual Formation