A letter to Alumni from Upper School Head, Ben Courchesne

Dear St. Andrew's Alumni,
When I accepted the St. Andrew's Upper School Division Head role back in February, I immediately knew that I was joining a warm and tight-knit community in one of the coolest cities in America. My wife Audrey and our three kids--Ronan, Elle, and Alden--were ready to pack up the truck and leave Virginia for an adventure in the heart and the heat of Texas. At the time, my biggest concern was whether I--a reformed ice hockey playing New Englander-- could fill the shoes of the legendary Dr. Stephenson and whether I could pull off a casual "y'all." Since then, we've all discovered the true nature of concern. Amid our national battle against an unremitting virus, we tried to keep school. Outgoing Head of Upper School, Dr. Stephenson, and the committed St. Andrew's faculty did a remarkable job of responding with agility, creativity, and care to salvage the Spring. We offered a successful distance learning experience for our students and did our best to send the class of 2020 off into the world girded with our love and support. I look forward to fetting their official entrance into the family of SAS alumni soon. And on that note, I look forward to connecting with as many alumni as I can in these coming years. I want to learn about what makes SAS special to you, the rituals and relationships, the trials and traditions, and your stories.

With the slow passing of summer, we are once again about the business of keeping school. Many at St. Andrew's have forgone their usual, more relaxed summer season to ensure the safe and effective opening of school. Even as the virus rages and the cities of America agitate with civil unrest and reckon with social inequalities, we will attempt to offer a safe and embracing School experience where students can question, connect, and seek a fuller understanding of their complex world.

We look forward to the day when we can welcome students and alumni back to campus and gather again as a beloved community. If this year has taught us anything, it has affirmed the importance of fellowship and connection. I hope all y'all (I'm trying) will find a moment in the coming months to strengthen your St. Andrew's relationships--with an old classmate, with a beloved teacher or coach, and with me.

I am honored to serve this community as the next Head of Upper School, and I welcome the chance to hear from you.

Be sturdy and full of hope,

Ben Courchesne