On September 9, as Chapin’s accompanist Walter Aparicio played a lively song on the piano, Middle School students and faculty gathered remotely to launch the 2020-2021 school year.
"Welcome to each and every one of you,” said Head of Middle School Mary Rafferty. “I’m so excited to begin our year here together!”
The upbeat Assembly featured greetings from the Middle School teachers and other Professional Community members, including new Head of School Suzanne Fogarty. “Thank you to our Middle School faculty and staff who have been working tirelessly all summer to welcome our students back,” remarked Ms. Fogarty.
After the Class 4-7 advisors introduced the 24 new Middle School students, spotlighting each one and sharing a few fun facts about them, Ms. Rafferty asked the students to shout out ways this school year is different. “Physical distancing,” “wearing masks,” and “learning from home,” were among the answers. Then she asked what aspects of the School have not changed. The students offered many thoughtful responses such as, “We’re still learning,” “We’re still having fun,” and “Chapin will always be the same!”
“It’s so wonderful to see all your faces here this morning,” said Allison Bishop in her first official Assembly as Chapin’s new Head of Upper School. “Please turn on your cameras!”
The remote gathering began by recognizing the seniors and sharing, “You are so valued and appreciated as you kick off your last year at Chapin.”
This kicked off a special, heartfelt segment, led by Class 12 Co-Deans Samantha Sherman (Dance and Learning Resources teacher) and Erica Corbin (Director of Community Life and Diversity) during which faculty and staff saluted the 62 members of the Class of 2021, reading school reports from Kindergarten and offering other words of praise.
Akosua Lewis, technically Chapin’s oldest student, welcomed new members of the Upper School, and Ayanna Chatman, President of Self-Government, gave enthusiastic remarks. “I’m so thrilled to have you as part of our community,” said Ayanna. Describing the Class of 2021 as her “forever family,” she added, “Let’s think about what this year holds for us. It’s a new beginning and a grand finale."