On a recent afternoon after dismissal, I was walking the halls on a typical loop around our beautiful campus, the recognizable sounds of Duke Ellington swinging through the halls of Lower Stedman. As a great fan of jazz music and a former trumpet player, naturally, I could not resist but to slide into Mrs. Burger's rehearsal. She must have sensed my excitement and my eye on the trumpet section that was excellent, but small in numbers. Her words of welcome barely out of her mouth and the obligatory invitation to the new Head of School to jump in hanging (possibly regrettably!) from her lips, I was seated next to Milena and Adnan, trumpet in hand, giddy with the excitement of a first year band member. I felt at home! Though I struggled through the "second trumpet" part, challenged to hear in my musician's ear the often dissonant-sounding harmony, it felt great to be a part of the group. You see, I was accustomed to playing the part of "first chair", the blaring and familiar melody – the part that tells the story, the part the audience easily recognizes. Quickly, though, I found my footing, and my low-register harmonies complimented Milena's souring, swinging refrain of Ellington's Caravan.
My role was small, but it broadened and deepened the sound of the group and provided a necessary ballast to the contributions of others. I was disappointed when the session wound down and I had to return to my afternoon routines of the Head's office.Mrs. Burger and the jazz band could not know how much this experience brought joy to my day and week. Feeling a little selfish, I hoped that I made a small contribution to the group as well – adding to the rich sounds of the band and possibly giving the group a small shot of energy for an adult to pitch in on a Friday afternoon when others were heading home for the weekend.
These experiences of quiet contribution to the whole of our work serving children take place every day by adults in roles large and small. Each day, members of our faculty and staff play a part in the lives of our kids, playing the harmony to their lead melody. Outstanding teachers like Mrs. Burger conduct classes, create the context for our students to thrive, and play their unique and important role atRenbrook. Every part is important, we get better at it each day, and importantly, we recognize that our greatest joys most often come in fellowship with others.
We are so appreciative of the many roles that parents play atRenbrookas well. Their engagement, support of our faculty, and staff, and contributions to the Parents' Association play a vital role in ensuring excellence in all that we do atRenbrook.