“We are Stewart”
I have this distinct pleasure and honor of putting together our bi-annual yearbook. I take the portraits, I lay out the pages, and I wait for it to show up on our doorstep two months later.
Working on the yearbook is one of my favorite duties here at Stewart Home & School. I get to look through two years of photos and faces and carefully place them on a page where we can all share the joy of the image together come Family Weekend as they are passed out in welcome packets. This year, “We are Stewart” is our theme for family weekend and has been carried over to the 2016 yearbook. With that, many discussions have been made about what exactly Stewart “is”. The obvious comes to mind right away: a school and a home. But as discussions developed and we started thinking about what Stewart meant to each one of us, many more adjectives came up that really describe the core of Stewart Home & School. Devoted, perfect, strong, musical, healthy, active, artistic, and many more. Some describe activities the students are involved in, some describe the students with words that we use every single day around here (ahem: PERFECT), and some go deeper. There was one particular word that stood out to me that I really can’t stop thinking about. And that word is “family”.
Family means something different to each and every one of us. But family always includes people that we love and people we want to keep safe. Family at Stewart Home & School includes every single student and every single staff member and every relative of theirs, and so on. The family is a large family, but there is a safety and a comfort in knowing you have so many family members who are willing to care for you when you need it , and when you don’t. When word that a staff member is struggling with family issues or with anything, people jump to the rescue and help out in any way they can. When it is time to celebrate each other, staff members go all out to show their comrades how much they are appreciated and loved. And the students…. my gosh, the students! To see a student jump at the opportunity to help another never ceases to warm my heart. To hear students asking about their ill “siblings” always makes me thankful to be a part of such a loving community and family. Siblings bicker, siblings fight in the car on long car rides, but siblings always take up for each other in a time of need and always protect each other. Whatever it takes.
When asked by Mrs. Sandy Bell during her leadership class what words the students would use to describe Stewart, one word in particular kept coming up. “Loving”. Now this word might be used by the general population quite often, but when it is used at Stewart, it truly takes on a meaning beyond the dictionary and thesauruses. It takes on a meaning that really has no word that can simply describe what being “loved” as Stewart Home & School really means. It can be described by the smile on ones’ face when asked by someone where they work and “Stewart Home & School” comes out of that smile. (“Ask me more, please!” says the smile.) It can be described by the visiting parents and family members who know the names of other students and check up on them as though they are a member of the family. It can be described by the accomplishments of the students who learn to read for the first time, or learn to read music and play an instrument! It can be described by the relationships in the community that have been built for over 121 years. Hard to put that into a word.
So, as you make plans for your awesome Family Weekend experience in May, think about all the words you would use to describe Stewart Home & School. I know it might be hard to really put this into a word… it may take a few more than one…. but it is a great exercise that we can all do to remind us of why and how Stewart Home & School is so great and how our family continues to thrive.