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Posted 11/12/2014 11:11AM

By Dan Scheibe, Head of School

Video: The football Spartans celebrate their share of the ISL title.It was an incredibly busy and successful week around Academy Hill (that’s what they called it old-school, back in the late 18thcentury). So much to note, experience, and celebrate, and in-person and online, we did all we could to organize, promote, regulate, control, coordinate, and report. Nothing captures the spirit and the moment better, though, than a series of emails from Alex Munick, self-designated leader of #spartanation (like ketchup, everything is better with a hashtag).

Over the week, Alex, on behalf of #spartanation, announced and promoted everything from 3rds to Varsity contests, boys and girls. No school administrator could have better observed the courtesies of equal opportunity attention, and that spirit became part of the success of the week, summarized in one of the final emails to the entire school, which proclaimed:

“Let’s have a huge showing and positive support for everything going on! Good luck to both the Varsity Football team and participants in the play! Have a great weekend.”

If memory serves, in a separate email, the #headspartan exhorted students to “make good choices,” doing his best dean of students impression. What in the name of #bizzaroschoolworld is going on?

We had a good week, but we are not perfect. We are still a community centered on the unpredictable adolescent experience, and we are an institution that cannot avoid bureaucratic fallibility. We still can do a better job focusing attention on the majority of experience that takes place below the varsity level. We still can do a better job making sure that girls’ sports get the support and treatment that boys’ sports usually get without having to ask. And with success comes exposure and an added need to keep a proper orientation towards humility.

But this past week, we succeeded in both a big way and a good way. Not because of the ISL championships and the return to post-season play, but because of the spirit of it. After winning a share of the ISL championship, the football team also claimed sole possession of the ISL Sportsmanship award for football. According to those who have been around awhile, that is a very rare combination.

The ISL sportsmanship award “exemplifies the ideals of Integrity, Sportsmanship, and Fair Play.” That is the right spirit, and that is the spirit we most want to promote. The back of the #spartanation t-shirt exhorted students to #bringtherowdy. At assembly on Friday, I gamely exhorted students to #bringthesportsmanship. We did, not just on the field of sport but on the field of hopes and ideals.

After the football game, in a moment nicely captured on video, Paul Zukauskas, our head coach said, “We’re here for the ultimate student-athlete, and what that incorporates is being a good person in the community. This is a wonderful community—an absolute gem of a place, and when you come here, you are going to develop in lots of different ways.” #spartantrue!

Read Mr. Scheibe's blog "Some Assembly Required" each week.


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