Kindergarten and Grade 12 students marched in two by two into Brick Church, continuing the tradition of Spence seniors ushering in the newest class into the Fall All-School Assembly. The first of three annual all-school gatherings, this opening assembly salutes the new academic year.
Each assembly’s remarks, songs and poetry are centered around a selected theme for community-wide learning. This year’s theme is “turn the world around,” Head of School Bodie Brizendine shared in her opening remarks.
“We thought perhaps the world needed a little bit of our attention and our stewardship of it,” Brizendine explained. She added that it’s important to recognize the “little things we can do to keep the planet healthy” and saluted the Upper School students who “took a stance” to attend the Climate March. Brizendine further noted that the first assembly focused on the idea of wind and “all the different words and verbs that go along with wind,” such as “free,” “dance,” “turn” and “twist.”
In keeping with the year’s theme, the Middle/Upper School Chorus performed “Turn the World Around” before two Upper School students shared reflections about the importance of caring for our world even when it means making sacrifices or persevering through challenges.
Sydney N. ’22 talked about her experiences participating in the Climate March, and highlighted the “diverse group of people there who had one thing in common: a cause they wanted to fight for.”
Senior Phoebe D. began her remarks by recollecting the phrase “teeth to the wind,” a saying she’s encountered during summertime paddling and canoeing trips, where she’s had to propel her boat forward through difficult, windy conditions. Phoebe explained that this reminds her of Spence students. “I’ve watched my peers not shy away from adversity, but see it as an opportunity.”
The Assembly also featured a spirited musical performance by all of Lower School and poetry readings about wind given by students from each grade in Middle School. To conclude the Assembly, students, faculty and staff sang the Spence School Song together in celebration of the new school year.
Finally, Brizendine offered a quote about wind from Jimmy Dean: “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sail to always reach my destination.”