"How Can I Help?"

Anne Swayze, Head of School
On this June afternoon, the steady hum of multiple fans and the blades of the nearby ceiling fan move circularly, trying desperately to cool down the living space.
The pups remind me just how hot it is as Mac slowly collapses under my desk on the hardwood floors and Maisey, still young, move from one section of the house to the next. Today, we are savoring heat, humidity, and skies dotted by fluffy clouds—the scientific name being cumulonimbus, which the Farmer’s Almanac suggests will bring us showers, thunder, and lightning this afternoon. 

I have moved my tomato plants into the sun, trimmed back my potted mint, and draped the American flag over the railing until I can secure two fasteners that will allow it to billow in the summer breeze. I grew up the youngest in a family of five, surrounded by extended family, so holidays were recognized and fully celebrated from sunup to sundown. Fourth of July was no exception, and while I understand all the facts about setting off fireworks—environmental, safety, animals—I admit to being mesmerized, not so much by the sound but by the display of colors that light up the sky and the anticipation of the next round. I believe in traditions and events that bring people together for laughter, light, and love.

Earlier today, I wandered down to my office to check our community beta fish, King Karl III, and distribute any mail or packages that always seem to arrive on Sunday. After feeding the fish and sorting the mail, I tackled my pile of papers, and somewhere, hidden in between the first draft of this year’s graduation speech and copies of next year’s calendar, was a photograph of a student who, during one of the last days of school, on his own accord, arrived at the administration building and offered these words: “How can I help?”

That very conscious and deliberate decision to offer help speaks volumes to the essence of our students. Our role as educators, standing on the shoulders of parents, is to continue the fine work you have done in preparing your son to be a Greenwood student. The world is a complicated place right now. There is a discourse in the political arenas; we are reminded daily about the environmental crisis; rights of individual choice are in opposition; higher education is re-framing what is needed to prepare young people to live honest, healthy, and accountable lives; and we are all striving, each day, to be kind, caring and thoughtful people. 

So, as June turns the corner to July, we thank you, our parents, for teaching and modeling compassion, respect, honesty, and kindness to your sons and our students. Our partnership with you is instrumental in helping raise young men who first will ask, “How can I help?”