Summer Reflections

STEM K-8 Families,

I hope this letter finds you making real summer time. I experienced two weeks of full, unplugged vacation surrounding one week of part-time trying-to-keep-the-ship-floating work. I canoed with extended family in the BWCA of northern Minnesota, and spent a week backpacking with my kids on the Washington Wilderness Coast. When the exact details became foggy, and I couldn’t remember the next step for tasks on my list, I was good to return. I’m jumping into preparations for an amazing fall!

As Rainier Marie Rilke wrote in ”The Winged Energy of Delight:”


Just as the winged energy of delight

carried you over many chasms early on,

now raise the daringly imagined arch

holding up the astounding bridges.


Miracle doesn’t lie only in the amazing

living through and defeat of danger;

Miracles become miracles in the clear

achievement that is earned.


To work with things is not hubris

when building the association beyond words;

denser and denser the pattern becomes —

being carried along is not enough.


Take your well-disciplined strengths

and stretch them between two

opposing poles. Because inside human beings

is where God learns.


We are stretching this year—new staff, programs, grades, and spaces. The arc of last year’s challenges will be swallowed by a dump truck load of new opportunities. Daringly imagined arches will not be sufficient to bridge the chasm; our relationships, collaboration, and sweat will fill the gaps. Building a strong K-8 school is not a three-year journey; it’s a six-year feat filled with gods learning inside human beings. I find direction in my core values and our tripart vision: 1) Grow 21st readiness in a community that values equity, sustainability, the whole child 2) Develop rigorous STREAM skills to ask and answer audacious questions, and 3) Use Project Based Learning to tackle real world challenges.

I’m jazzed about the journey. And it’s not because of building construction and reorganization, new grades and programs, nor the cool resources that have been coming in. Our students, staff and families fill me with excitement for the coming year! A remarkable group of new staff are joining an exceptional team at STEM. Our partnership with families makes it possible for us to do cool things. Our students are simply amazing. We have the collective talent and commitment to lift STEM K-8 to new heights.

Nothing’s going to be easy. We are living evolution. We are growing from an intimate community of informal connections and make-do into a large collective crafting new systems and common practice. Yet our fundamental building blocks remain passionate staff members bringing high expectations, committed families partnering to create engaging learning experiences, and your extraordinary children.

Happy August! Summer’s still in the air!