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Heroes Among Us

September 6, 2013

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I lost a bet to a student this week. I was watching a group of IV Formers during Monday’s trip to Echo Hill Outdoor School as they prepared to climb the school’s 50ft. wood and rope tower. Duncan Covell ’16 was adjusting his harness when I offered a trip to Wawa if he made it to the top of the tower. The look he gave me told me that I’d already lost. It took him less than five minutes to shimmy up a 20ft. diagonal log, spring himself over to a rope ladder, climb over another log and pull himself onto a platform high in the forest’s canopy. He looked down at me with two thumbs up and broke his smile to yell down, “When are we going?”

Two separate regrets entered my mind as I watched Duncan rappel down the tower: First, underestimating a St. Andrew’s student and second, I should have been aware enough to initially extend the offer beyond Duncan to Cam Turnbull and Lily Shao, the two belayers who made his safe ascent and descent possible.

The most important work we, students, faculty, and staff, do at St. Andrew’s is support the growth and successes of others. Assistant Head Ana Ramirez invited the staff to School Meeting yesterday and they were met with a standing ovation from the students who appreciate and succeed in the manicured fields and glistening buildings made possible by their dedication.

In the days ahead we will celebrate students for their work across campus and in the classroom, but I would argue it’s just as important to recognize those who made it possible.

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