Photo of Shara Campsall

Our Mission at SMUS seeks the excellence in all of us, and this couldn’t be more true than in watching a student learn, grow and evolve throughout their time at our school. We truly believe that every student deserves every opportunity.

Each June, I have the wonderful opportunity to speak with parents about the teachers who have helped their children find their excellence. One such conversation this week was with a parent who was grieving the lost opportunity of attending graduation. She was saddened that she couldn’t return to the school to thank her son’s teachers in person. She asked me to write a letter to 12 educators and staff whom he had selected. These people had played a significant role in her son’s life at SMUS. She used the words “changed his life for the better,” “helped him find himself,” and “created a space for him to share his thoughts at great lengths.”

As I hung up the phone, I was reminded of the first time I had met her son; a new boarding student, shy and a bit wary of the unknown. I remembered the Skype calls and WeChat messages with Mom; the concerns or just a wish that he would call home more often. I remembered how each year he grew many more inches and feet and gained self-assurance and reliance. I always reminded Mom that if he doesn’t call home, it’s a good sign. Of course, any parent being separated by oceans would just want to feel closer.

She asked me to allocate philanthropic gifts in the names of each of these 12 educators. She wanted to leave just a tiny legacy, an ounce of appreciation for the team of teachers who made a tremendous effort to help her son find the excellence within himself.

As a school, we are grateful for the many ways our community supports our school and our students. The Annual Appeal is an important part of that, and the generosity from parents and community members, such as the one I spoke to this week, was an inspiring reminder of the opportunities we can give our students.

Our Annual Appeal ends June 30. On behalf of every student, thank you for the opportunities.