Students on Opening Day

Thanks and Belonging

by Kristin Duisberg
SPS welcomes 532 students to the start of the School’s 167th year
When Rector Kathy Giles welcomed students, faculty and staff to Fall Term Convocation on Sept. 6, it wasn’t just noteworthy that there were so many smiling faces — it was noteworthy that she could see the smiles on those faces. As she observed in an email to parents the following day, “For the first time in recent memory, we opened a Convocation yesterday morning by welcoming everyone into Chapel — masks optional — to be together in full good health at the start of a term. Our new students are off to a strong start, and our returning students are doing a wonderful job helping them to settle in and feel part of our community. The energy and positivity on the grounds bodes well as we undertake the work of our 167th year at St. Paul’s School.”
That energy and positivity got its start on Friday, Sept. 2, when Sixth Formers moved into their houses. They were joined by new students — 96 Third formers, 48 Fourth Formers and 14 Fifth Formers — on Sunday, Sept. 4. Returning Fourth and Fifth Formers arrived on Monday, Sept. 5, rounding out a student body of 532, ready for the official start of the School year and the first day of classes on Sept. 6. By the end of the week, with classes, athletics, arts endeavors and student groups all off and running, the grounds were abuzz with activity and excitement.
In her Convocation remarks, Giles spoke about the manner in which St. Paul’s School and its community members belong to one another, and invited those who were gathered to reflect on the people to whom they owed gratitude — family members, friends, and those at SPS who had prepared the physical campus for another year. With a forward glance at some of the services and events that shape the School calendar, she encouraged everyone to engage in the opportunities presented by the new academic year, noting, “We are where we are supposed to be, in a place that was built for us to be doing the work of our School — built with the continual optimism and hopes of decades of students, teachers, staff members, alumni and families who believe that we come together here, in this place that was built for us to do this work, to educate ourselves to build purposeful lives in service to the greater good.”



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