Head of School

Head of School2016-10-25T15:01:47-04:00

Head of School

Important last day info – and thoughts about supporting children at the close of a school year

The last day of the 2017-2018 school year is Friday, June 8, and it will be a half-day.  Our End-of-the-year Assembly will be held at 11:00 a.m. in Fitzpatrick Hall, and everyone is invited.  This is our last gathering as a whole school for the year.  Immediately following the End-of-the-year Assembly, the annual Family Picnic (each family packs their own picnic) will begin on the playground.  If your child(ren) will ride the bus that day, they’ll need a lunch, and please note that buses will depart at 1:00 p.m.

As I have shared in the past, it has always been my experience that the end of a school year is a time when children of all ages (that means parents and teachers, too!) may experience and express mixed feelings.  While we think about the accomplishments and learning experiences during the past year(s) and eagerly anticipate summer vacation, the end of a school year can be a time when some children may feel sad and uncertain about the future.  Saying farewell to friends, ending a relationship with a special teacher, and moving on to a new class, middle or upper school, or a new school can provoke feelings of loss and letting go.  It is important to check in and speak with your children during these times.  It is most helpful to acknowledge and affirm their feelings and to discuss ways to express their thoughts about others during this period of transition.

And, as another wonderful school year at BCD nears completion, I would like to re-express my sincere gratitude for the hard work and dedication of Melissa Kruse.  She greets all of us each day with a warm smile, eager to help, and always willing to support the children.  The children really like and trust her, and that’s not because she has small box of stickers on her desk.  She assists with coordinating events, producing mailings, tracking attendance, and attending to injuries – not to mention the countless ways she has made my work go more smoothly for many years.  Everything runs easily as the result of her considerate care for our community members and attention to each one of us and innumerable details.  We have had a fabulous year at Berkshire Country Day School, and I believe she has been an essential piece of that success.

I remain grateful for the many ways that parents participated in the life of the school during the past year, and it was especially meaningful to observe so many new parents getting involved. Everyone enhances the quality and spirit of our community and our work here at school.

Warm regards,


By |May 24th, 2018|Categories: Head of School|

Soirée 2018 – Down and Derby – Exceeds Expectations!

Our Spring Soirée 2018 – Down and Derby –  was a total success!  I write to extend my sincere and heart-felt gratitude to the scores of current and former community members and friends of BCD that gathered at Crissey Farm on Friday night for a memorable evening of fun, friendship, food, and fundraising.

Special thanks go to Soirée chairs Suzannah and Pieter Van Schaick and Ashley Junod, and Jessica Provenz and Lia Russell-Self, for their leadership and energy all year, and to their creative and hardworking committee.

Underwriters and sponsors, and each and every amazing bidder and paddle raiser, thank you for your generosity and support – our expectations were exceeded.  I am enthusiastic to share that we surpassed our goal for the BCD Financial Aid Fund.


CLICK HERE for more photos from our very own Sergio Jurado!

PS And what a joy it was to be there when Jen Capala’s name was chosen as the winner of this year’s raffle.  Jen chaired this event three times over the years.  What a great example that “what goes around comes around.”  (more pics soon)

By |May 14th, 2018|Categories: Head of School|

Born to Be Wild: Why Teens Take Risks, and How We Can Help Keep Them Safe

The most common way that schools partner with parents to help teens counter their natural propensity to engage in risky behavior is to warn them of the potential consequences. Most drug and alcohol education or sex education programs have the underlying assumption that teenagers underestimate the risks they face. In Born to Be Wild, Dr. Jess Shatkin argues that this approach does not align with current research and neuroscience as he cites evidence that teens actually tend to overestimate the dangers they face from risky behavior. The problems instead lie in primarily peer effects and a lack of rules of thumb for how to handle risky situations since teens do not have a bank of experiences from which to draw. As Dr. Shatkin argues, “the more we debate a decision, like an adolescent does, the more likely we are to rationalize any given risky behavior.” Though the book does not provide quick and easy solutions, the final three chapters focus on the deep and meaningful character education work that parents, schools, and the wider society can utilize to support students as they navigate adolescence.

Review written by: Michael Arjona, The Walker School, Marietta, GA
By |May 10th, 2018|Categories: Head of School|

8 ways to teach kids to see the best in others

By Sarah Hamaker

When my oldest daughter was in kindergarten, she was convinced a classmate didn’t like her because he would knock her book off the table and bump into her several times each day. The teacher observed that the boy wasn’t being deliberately mean — he simply liked Naomi and was rather clumsy, as so many kindergartners can be.

My daughter’s confusion wasn’t unusual. “When we are young, we are more concerned with ourselves,” says Melissa Divaris Thompson, a licensed marriage and family therapist and co-founder of Honest Mamas. “We learn through time to be more polite and regard others and their feelings.”

Every child — and adult — struggles with how to interpret others’ motives, often assuming the worst. It’s natural to think everything is personal, but we need to step back and look objectively, says Lynn R. Zakeri, a clinical therapist. Zakeri uses the example of someone cutting us off in traffic. Rather than simply assigning negative motives, she says, “we have to go that extra step to say the person might be running late or did not see me in his blind spot. Being a victim can become a habit.”

To read the full article, click here.

By |May 2nd, 2018|Categories: Head of School|

Why Learning Latin Stays With You Forever

Recently, I shared this video with BCD’s Latin teacher, Eugénie Fawcett, who is completing her 45th year of teaching at BCD this year, and I thought everyone would enjoy it.  Click on the picture to link to the video clip.

Earlier today, we celebrated the results of the National Latin Exam.  Sponsored both by the American Classical League and the National Junior Classical League, every Upper School Latin student at BCD took the exam in March.  They joined, and their scores were compared to those of, more than 150,000 students from all 50 states and 13 foreign countries.

14 Upper School students were awarded certificates and medals for their high scores on the 2018 National Latin Exam. For the Introduction to Latin on the National Exam, the following award was earned:

     Outstanding Achievement Certificate: Norah S

For the Latin I National Exam, the following awards were earned:

     Gold Summa Cum LaudeRafi K

     Silver Maxima Cum Laude: Sam C, Esme M, Petra O, Samantha S

     Magna Cum Laude: Lana M, Gevi S

     Cum Laude: Daniel C

For the Latin II National Exam, the following awards were earned:

     Gold Summa Cum Laude: Chase V

     Silver Maxima Cum Laude: Clara M, Keely O, Sean S

     Cum Laude: Henry VS

Bravo and congratulations, one and all!

By |April 26th, 2018|Categories: Head of School, Uncategorized|

Thank you, Natacha! Thank you, Andrea! Thank you, PA Steering Committee and community members, one and all!

Wow! What a week!

On behalf of the faculty, staff, and administration, I write to share a huge and heartfelt thank you for a week of expressions of appreciation provided by the Parents’ Association and our community!

The spectacular bouquets of flowers, the gracious words at a most delicious luncheon, the generous breakfast and cards from students, were received with gratefulness!  To cap off the week, everyone has taken home a prepared dinner for their family, further demonstrating the kindness and talents of our extraordinary, vibrant, and caring community.

While I’m confident that the smiles in these pictures say it most warmly and sincerely, thank you, one and all!

By |April 20th, 2018|Categories: Head of School|