The Pinnacle of Dedication
A tribute to the Mount Madonna School Faculty
by Christine Smith
As we wind down 2020 and welcome 2021 with cautious optimism, I tip my hat to a group of individuals who are as good as it gets, and maybe even better: the faculty at Mount Madonna School!
Blessedly, our world is full of good – good art, good innovation, good people. So, when it comes time to recognize a person for their contributions, the choice can be tough. Look at Time magazine, which has often chosen a group of individuals rather than just one person for its coveted recognition as “Person of the Year” – the American soldier in 1950 and 2003, U.S. Scientists in 1960, and American women in 1975, to name a few.
As we wind down 2020 and welcome 2021 with cautious optimism, I tip my hat to a group of individuals who are as good as it gets, and maybe even better: the faculty at Mount Madonna School.
I’m a long-time parent of a student at Mount Madonna School and a member of its Board of Directors. Nevertheless, I find myself overwhelmed by the skill, commitment, and love demonstrated by this group of educators during the Covid crisis. In March of 2020, when in-person teaching pivoted to online instruction, the teachers at Mount Madonna took a collective breath and had our students engaged online essentially overnight. Then, when it became evident the Fall semester would not begin with instruction as we knew it, our teachers shifted to outdoor instruction (yes, they teach outside) in the open-air classrooms the school constructed, taking advantage of its mountain-top setting. Then, as Covid numbers rose and learning temporarily pivoted back to an online format, not one beat was missed as teachers provided students with each and every tool they needed to pick up precisely where they left off while on campus.
It’s impossible to name all of the activities that have kept our students interested, engaged and learning, whether socially distanced on campus or at home. But, from packed-up science kits so students could conduct science experiments together on Zoom in family kitchens, to virtual scavenger hunts, P.E. classes to remind kids of the importance of exercise, and a live stream of the students’ holiday caroling to keep music in their lives – and many, many more – Mount Madonna teachers have filled our students’ hearts and souls with love and laughter and, when needed, have “held their hands” through frustrations and disappointment.
If my words are not enough to convince, on the last day of the Fall semester, our students – from pre-K all the way to grade 12 – demonstrated their gratitude for their teachers with a socially distanced horn-honking and sign-waving caravan at school. It was a sight to behold.
The Mount Madonna School faculty has gone above and beyond in providing our students with an outstanding education during these challenging times. And dare I say maybe even more importantly, they have modeled for our students that time-tested life lesson – “Yes, we can.”