Dear LTS Students and Families,
On July 1, I arrived on our beautiful campus eager to serve as the fifth Head at Long Trail School. July is an odd time to start working in a school. I had my usual first-day-of-school butterflies (for the record, those never go away) but that was nearly the only marker of a “first day of school.” Yellow buses sat parked, hallways were quiet, and the delightful buzz of student life normally pulsating throughout school was replaced by the buzz of waxing floors and an occasional hammer. While I have immense gratitude for my colleagues who are tirelessly readying school throughout the summer, the essential ingredient is missing in July: students. So, as the calendar turns to August and with an apology for interrupting your precious summer days, I write today to say hello, share some thoughts after one month, and preview what is ahead as we prepare for Long Trail School’s 47th school year.
This past month has provided the opportunity to meet with many of my colleagues to build relationships and deepen familiarity with our Long Trail School community. Over this first month, my colleagues have given generously of their time and I have found inspiration from their knowledge, backgrounds, expertise, and passion for LTS. These relationships will be the foundation for the success of our School, and my conversations with colleagues have been deeply gratifying. Long Trail is truly a special place. Just last night, we shared a joyful picnic on campus with sixth- and seventh-grade families, and in less than a month, we will welcome all students to campus. Whether it is your first year at LTS, your final year, or somewhere between, I am eager to get to know all of you. To our greater community of parents, alumni, and all who care for Long Trail, I look forward to conversations with all of you as well as ample opportunities for you to engage with the School. As I enter this new role, I promise you I will place people at the heart of my mission. Although there is much work ahead, knowing the members of our community and immersing myself in the Long Trail community are my primary goals this year.
I also recognize this is a period of transition for Long Trail School. In addition to moving beyond a pandemic and changes in leadership, we collectively look forward to celebrating Long Trail’s 50th year in 2025, an important milestone as we ensure Long Trail School remains a thriving school for decades to come. For the 2022-2023 school year, we are excited to establish routines and return to normalcy. To that end, you should expect weekly communication every Thursday sharing important operational and logistical items. The weekly communication and our Veracross parent and student portals will keep you well informed without overwhelming your inbox. While significant information is forthcoming, I do want to be sure to invite all parents to campus at 8 am on Thursday, September 1 for the first of our Parent Coffee series. This informal first coffee will be an opportunity to meet face-to-face and share excitement as we start the new school year.
While I hope to see you on campus soon, in closing, I want to share a few personal thoughts that have framed my summer and my first month at Long Trail School. For all of my life, I have loved trails. As a boy, I mostly enjoyed the practical trails (skiing, running, hiking, and travel) and, later on, came to understand the theoretical and proverbial trails we travel. I appreciate both the comfort of marked trails that often guide our way as well as the uncertain trailblazing we sometimes choose – or are forced – to undertake. I believe it is an equal measure of trodden path and trailblazing that brings me to Long Trail School at this moment. I am filled with gratitude to all those who have built and served at this incredible School. I am also excited about the yet-to-be-discovered trails that we will build together for this community. True to our School’s name, I hope the Igoe family’s journey at LTS will, indeed, be long. And I know that throughout the journey of this school year (and those to come), we will experience both known and unknown challenges, successes, setbacks, and triumphs. Regardless of the challenges and joys we experience, I take great comfort and strength in knowing our community will be walking the trail together. With three children of my own (including a new, delightful 3-week-old), I recognize the enormous trust you place in Long Trail School to help your child realize their fullest potential. I am grateful for this trust and will cherish it as we work tirelessly each day toward fulfilling the mission of Long Trail School.
For now, please accept my words of welcome and friendship as you enjoy these final days of summer. In a few weeks, we look forward to that invigorating buzz of life returning to our hallways and starting the journey of this school year together.
Yours in kindness, integrity, openness, responsibility, and stewardship,
Head of School