As summer draws to a close, I reflect on the rich history of St. Paul's with genuine enthusiasm for the unique opportunities that lie ahead. In this, our 170th academic year, we warmly welcome 133 new students with the confidence that each and every one of these learners will thrive and grow as scholars and as citizens in our school community.
St. Paul's continues to provide an environment where opportunity is everywhere. This summer Upper School students from St. Paul's and SPSG represented The St. Paul's Schools at the Student Global Leadership Institute in Hawaii. Our eighth-grade boys will embark on a new adventure this fall as part of the school's partnership with Outward Bound—a trip that has proven to profoundly impact adolescents' character development, problem-solving skills, and creative thinking. Lower School faculty will foster a culture of joy in reading as they roll out the new Lower School Reading Workshop to every class. Moreover, Pre-K students from St. Paul's Plus will experience all the school has to offer by visiting the Lower School weekly and participating in foreign language, science, music, and other programs.
As activity picks up on campus, I'm pleased to welcome some new faculty and staff. Notable additions to our administrative team include Chief Financial Officer Rahel Rosner, Executive Director of Strategic Communications Ellen Gibson, and Director of Early Childhood and Lower School Admissions Erin Cooke. Sam Kaplan is taking on a new role as Dean of Students in the Upper School, while English teacher Mike Goldfarb is now serving as assistant head of the Middle School. These energetic colleagues are working with administrators across the St. Paul's Schools to make the most of our unique model, with dedication to our single-gender mission and an emphasis on cross-campus opportunities.
Our maintenance staff worked tirelessly this summer to improve our campus. As you drive onto our grounds, you will notice the new wayfinding signage, a project conducted in coordination with SPSG and partly funded by the Class of 2017 Senior Parent Gift. Our Early Childhood and Lower School Admissions team moved into the Lower School building, providing an opportunity for them to be more engaged in the day-to-day activities. This fall I hope to see you at a game in the newly renovated George L. Mitchell '44 Stadium.
This week, faculty and staff will come together to learn from renowned education researcher Charlotte E. Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs earned her doctorate in Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently Associate Director of that university's Independent School Teaching Residency program. Formerly, Dr. Jacobs spent five years as Associate Director of Innovation and Program Operation for the Center of Study of Boys' and Girls' Lives, a Penn research consortium focused on mobilizing student insights to improve school culture and policy. Dr. Jacobs' research focuses on issues of identity development, gender in education, and diversity. I'm honored to work with colleagues who care deeply about each individual student they serve, and I believe that a sustained commitment to inclusivity will make St. Paul's a more vibrant, robust institution.
In the year ahead, I look forward to partnering with the newly unified St. Paul's Schools Board of Trustees as well as SPSG Head of School Penny Evins to continue to strengthen our school community with a clear focus on our Episcopal identity and our guiding values. I hope you and your families enjoyed a restful and rejuvenating summer, and I look forward to beginning a new year.
David C. Faus