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The Power of Faith

My former Head of School was fond of saying that late January, in the context of all enrollment and employment contracts being sent out, was the time when he suddenly found himself with no students and no employees. There is no denying the challenge that exists in sending out all kinds of offers to be a part of Berwick’s next journey and having to wait for seven or eight hundred different contracts to emerge in various ways. Some of those eight hundred stories will be straightforward, and some will take lots of follow up and persistence. There will be happy surprises and surprise disappointments along the way; there are every year.

It is hard as a leader, and harder as a parent, to acknowledge that certain things are out of our control. I heard recently from a Berwick parent that their freshman in college was back in the house for the past month and how hard it was to figure out the proper parenting role. Mostly this person just hoped and prayed that good decisions would be made. While my memories of going to CCD as a Catholic for such a long time are certainly mixed, I do remember some interesting conversations about faith. Whether or not one aligns with this notion in a truly religious context, I do believe that there is a role for faith in each of our lives. As a leader, I need to be able to trust and believe that certain aspects of our operations will work out. Whether it is the kids coming through, our employees delivering, or Berwick parents stepping up – I have developed a well-grounded faith that people will come through in this community in all sorts of ways.

Similarly, I am developing an important and well-earned faith in my children. As parents, we need to have faith that they will come through in the end. Whether this is the college process, an admissions interview, or a big performance or contest – we know there will be disappointments. We know there will be the first car accident and the first grade on a transcript that disappoints us as parents. But how important is it to simply have faith in our children? The reality is that all of these Berwick students are well meaning and hardworking young people, and they are all trying to figure out their own identity and goals along this complicated journey. They are lucky to have so many people pulling for them, especially their parents.

Historically, January is the most challenging month for me as a leader. There is just an inherent amount of ambiguity at this time of year that can be tough for those of us who like to know everything is in its proper place. Faith, however, is a tool that helps me re-center during these stressful times. Perhaps it is something that will be helpful in your household as well. Let’s keep believing together.


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