Message from Headmaster, Randy Richardson
As we catch our breath after the busy first weeks of school, we are excited to report that we have had a great start to the year here at Oliverian. It has
been heartwarming to watch bonds develop between our committed faculty and engaged student body. The balance of our student body, with about half of our
students new and half returning and approximately half male and half female, has helped make the transition positive and interesting.
We deliberately focused our first week of orientation on getting to know each other as well as our campus and program. A few Stewardship projects that
students participated in involved clearing a new mountain biking trail, painting the fence for the new horse program, weeding, harvesting and preparing
vegetables from our gardens to share with a local food pantry.
One of the highlights of orientation was hike and overnight camping trip on campus. We hiked up Iron Mountain to a great campsite and cabin that was built by former students. While this was a new and challenging experience for some, the group had a very positive experience bonding with each other and coming close to nature and the stillness of life Iron Mountain has to offer. Most of the evening was spent huddled around the campfire while sharing jokes, stories, life experiences along with plenty of s’ mores.
While not every part of orientation has been fun and games, the students have adjusted quite well to recent changes at school. Based on some challenges we have had in the past, we, as a faculty, are determined to diminish student smoking on campus. As one of the leading causes of death in America, Oliverian takes smoking seriously and its damage to our community. While some students have balked the stricter enforcement and heavier penalties for smoking, as well as other infractions, students are coming to understand and ultimately appreciate the clear and consistent boundaries we present this year.
As we moved beyond orientation, students and teachers have enthusiastically dived into classes. I have overheard and been engaged in a number of hallway conversations about intriguing ideas and learning. I have had the pleasure of talking with students about everything from a potential “Waldenesque” senior project at one of our cabins to the challenges of creating a truly original work of art, to the work that goes into making a perfect hollandaise sauce, to the organization and effort it takes to build an interscholastic soccer schedule.
The learning and community spirit has fully expressed itself in our daily community meetings. While there is flexibility every day, the meeting is organized to include opening comments, a meaningful story, announcements, a creative opportunity for expression, and appreciations (public celebrations of someone else in the community). We’ve enjoyed live student and faculty musical performances fine enough to bring tears to some eyes. There have also been some tears of laughter as some students have been willing to share improvisational drama/comedy and a few spontaneous comedic moments. These are the kinds of community and learning moments that can nurture all aspects of academic and personal growth.
We certainly have had an inspiring start to the year, and we are looking forward with excitement and anticipation as we continue to grow and welcome more students into our community.
** View Previous Issues of Headmaster's Corner **
DATES TO REMEMBER
March 17 - April 2
Fourth Quarter Begins
Mon, April 16
Sun, July 1 - Sat, Aug 18
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