Blue Ridge School made its first visit to St. Peter’s School in Berault, Haiti, exactly one year ago. This past November, Aaron O’Donnell ‘18 and Wai Kwan Ng ‘19, accompanied by teachers Mr. Evan Graber and I, gave up part of their Thanksgiving break to visit St. Peter’s.
This weekend’s violence and words of hatred in Charlottesville have profoundly saddened and disturbed the Blue Ridge School community. I write today to condemn the acts of violence, hate and intolerance that we witnessed over the weekend.
The Gibson Memorial Chapel at Blue Ridge School is one of the many extant structures built in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Students and families did much of the construction work. The Chapel contains numerous beautiful stained glass windows.
My experience with the Blue Ridge School music program can only be described as dynamic. I came to BRS as a sophomore who already loved to sing, and I was in no way disappointed with what I encountered the first day I stepped in the door. I walked up to the music table (somewhat nervously, I might add) and was greeted by the then-choir director Jerry King, who immediately welcomed me with open arms without knowing if I was world-class or tone deaf.
In a word, Nothing. Nothing is wrong.
Blue Ridge is actually involved with two observatories. Up on Flattop mountain is the Blue Ridge observatory owned and operated by an enthusiastic amateur astronomer. The school will inherit that observatory at some point in the future. Thanks to a generous grant from the Hall family, we were able to purchase the blue and white mini observatory now located near the climbing tower. The Science department was also able to buy a laptop and an astronomical digital camera.
Throughout my professional career, I have always been drawn towards working for something bigger than myself. My first job after college was working as a field director for a United States Congressional election in Waco, Texas, and like all first jobs out of college I was underpaid, overworked and constantly learning on the fly. After my candidate won that election, I set my sights on Washington, D.C., and a career in campaign politics. I decided I was going to fight for the change I wanted to see in the world.