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Letters from our Leaders

Mr. McManus, September 2022

And so we imagined what could be.

Tuesday’s first day, rainy day questions were about flying cars. As Walter and I rolled down Route 202 on the way to Montgomery where he would start Pre-K, he asked me where fog comes from. My non-expert response about water suspended in the air (“like clouds”), followed by several “why?”’s led him to ask what would happen if our cars drove through the sky. To my adult mind, science gave way to fantasy, but he was grabbing what was in his experience to understand what was not. He laughed at the idea of a car that flies, then off he went into his head, staring out the window and up into the sky. 

To imagine the world with a child is to live at the heart of education. Imagination is about emotion. We feel (and sometimes wish for) a world that is not our present. In children this can look fantastical. It’s a daily joy to enter that world of imagination, of creation, of emotional manifestation. 

As a parent, I’m keenly aware that what I imagine for each of my four children is a mix of my deep emotional investment and my personal life experiences. They are each uniquely their own people, so my wife and I always remind one another to keep our imagination grounded in what they are showing and telling us. 

And so it is with Montgomery School. We are a community that springs from the collective imagination of children and adults who genuinely care about one another. We listen to each other and are connected by the same beliefs; we continually chart the way forward based on the highest ideals we all share for happy, healthy, empowered young people. Ultimately, those young people are our gift to the world, our imagination made manifest. 

This year’s school theme of “imagine” was selected with all this in mind. What a privilege and pleasure it is to imagine the year ahead for Montgomery School with you, your children, and their incredible teachers. I can’t overstate my personal joy in beginning my third year at Montgomery without the constraints of the past two years. We can truly, individually and collectively, “imagine” our future more fully and enjoy the process of creating an amazing journey together. 

In all things, Montgomery shines brightest when we focus our efforts on our school, our community, and our purpose. This is an exciting time for tremendous growth and renewal; a time to imagine our full potential in a way that will honor and celebrate Montgomery School’s remarkable legacy. 

This year, 29 students will become Montgomery graduates. They will enter the world with the academic strength, character, and confidence that are required to meet life’s challenges. Imagine the moment when your child delivers their 8th grade chapel about a topic that is meaningful to them, or identifies a global issue and how they plan to solve it. Imagine the moment when your child walks across the graduation stage, known, loved and prepared to make an impact in the world.

We have a unique, nature-rich campus to both care for and learn from. Imagine utilizing all it has to offer while practicing–and teaching–stewardship of nature's gifts.

The educators who model and carry out our mission are a signature strength of Montgomery School. Imagine how, with new and innovative resources, they can evolve our educational program and advance their professional practice.  

Finally, Montgomery is a special community of enriching cultural perspectives and diverse backgrounds and viewpoints. Imagine how this enriches your student’s ability to think critically and creatively as they engage with others in a culture of respect, where all thoughts, ideas, and opinions are embraced.

There’s so much to look forward to, and so many new families and students to welcome. If you are new to Montgomery, we are so excited that you are here. Throughout the year here in this space and in-person, I’ll share more thoughts about things I am imagining. I also look forward to your thoughts and ideas as we look forward to the future of this school we love. 

Schoolhouse News is a weekly resource which we work hard to fill with useful information and a few words of wisdom. It also features announcements by our imaginative Montgomery School Community Association (MSCA)-- from first day doughnuts to memory making special events– which also invites you to imagine together!

A great year awaits! Thanks for an amazing opening and first week!