Dear Saint Edward’s School Community:
Every late summer in August, when I write to our School community, I feel the excitement of another school year, and my days are filled with heightened awareness of what another school year brings to me and to all of us at Saint Edward’s School. This coming year is particularly important to me being my 44th and final year in the profession of education in schools, and as important, the 55th year as a School at Saint Edward’s. With the new Strategic Plan that was launched in the fall of 2018, and the search for a new Head of School well underway, the School enters this year with an incredibly bright future, and with a solid foundation in all respects as a community moving forward.
I hope you all will not mind my reflections from this past decade on this Pirate Ship. As I stated in my letter to the community back in the fall of 2018, this past chapter, for me professionally, has been the most significant of my career. It has allowed me to help a School and a community survive, grow, and indeed flourish in those ten years, with many hands on the wheel to help make it happen. Further, Saint Edward’s School has truly become one of the crown jewels of Vero Beach and of the Treasure Coast region. When one looks at statistics of doctors in this community who are a part of the School, and the support from many in the real estate business, one can get a keen sense of how others feel about Saint Edward’s School.
However, one of the most telling numbers comes from our alumni, who, in the past ten years, have decided to return to the School community, and as important, to enroll their children at Saint Edward’s. In the fall of 2009, there were 9 children of alumni at the School, and as we begin this school year, there will be 105 children of alumni enrolled at Saint Edward’s this fall of 2019. Once again, a telling sign of our School and its place in our community and region at large.
On a completely different note, every school and every family is faced with student and child issues during the developmental years of formal elementary and secondary school education. The world of the internet and social media, with all of its potential, positive components, has often provided many of us as parents and educators with real dilemmas because of its inherent immediate information gratification and indeed misuse. Each summer I spend time with Heads from around the country and I know I speak for hundreds of independent schools when I say that these issues were paramount in terms of our discussions and deliberations for the past few years.
However, how schools and adults educate, support, guide, and indeed present healthy choices to our children, and how they deal with issues, which will inevitably arise, makes all the difference to any school community. At Saint Edward’s School we will strive to continue to send the right messages to our children and to be role models for their future in terms of healthy choices. Yet, as always, there is a partnership and a sacred bond we have with our parents, which can only flourish with mutual trust in each other and in the mission of the School we all love. Those of us who live and work with these great young people every day are devoted to this sacred calling of teaching and mentoring, and our hope is that we may continue to count on our parents to support us this year and for years to come.
As always, when the latter part of August is here, I begin to have sleepless nights in anticipation of another school year, and this feeling of higher energy and focus keeps me sharp and ready for the year ahead. I invite you to join me in the celebration of another, great year at Saint Edward’s School. We will welcome a robust School of over 580 students, including over 80 new students, on Tuesday, August 20th.
Further, we are incredibly well-positioned as a School to execute initial parts of the strategic plan this year, which will continue to guide our path for the School’s future for the next four to five years. In addition, I am confident, that the Head Search Committee will complete their work this fall, and we will work to achieve a seamless transition of leadership at the School for the 2020-2021 academic year. And lastly we are poised to move forward in our continued quest for excellence with and for our children. However, our goals remain consistent, and they are to use all of our resources to advance the lives of our students each year. We send prayers to all of our families and constituents in our Saint Edward’s School community. Further, blessings go to the Class of 2020 for their expected leadership as seniors and to the adults who guide them.
Bless you all and know that we stand ready to support your children on that first day of school on Tuesday, August 20th.
Michael J. Mersky