First Assembly Emphasizes KO Mission & Core Values
From the look and sound of it, this energy is a harbinger for a dynamic year ahead. New speaker Prith Gunturu ‘18 introduced Associate Head of School Natalie Demers and Dean of Students Will Gilyard who both articulated that by adhering to the school’s mission and core values enable us to build the best community possible.
Demers reflected that the polarizing tenor of the world today is exacerbated by the “safety of faceless postings” which can bring out finger pointing and blame. She said, “You can’t have a conversation with a tweet or a caption....A vital component is to learn to speak with one another and learn from one another...So true to community, we’re going to try something new this year. We’re going to pause; we’re going to look at each other; and we’re going to engage in conversation and we’re going to ask questions knowing that in this community we are safe because we are united in our mission and our core values.” In charging the students to actively listen and engage with one another, Demers announced that assemblies and advisee groups will be cell free zones.
Gilyard echoed Demers sentiment and asked the community to create a counter argument to the divisiveness we have witnessed by following the school’s values which shape our culture and reflect who we want to be. He asked the community to embrace civil discourse where we can disagree with ideas without disparaging people. He said “We get to create the community. We have to do whatever we can to affect our community right here and be solution oriented so we can impact the world.”
Building community is a daily, deliberate practice. There is no us and them. It’s all of us and all of our differences. On a final note and one that can not be heard often enough, Gilyard ending the assembly saying, “I love you all.”
Located in West Hartford, CT just steps from Blue Back Square, Kingswood Oxford is a private school inspiring co-ed day students in grades 6-12 with a college preparatory curriculum. Empowered students become clear confident communicators, resourceful problem-solvers, and ethical leaders. KO: where unlimited potential meets endless opportunities.