Timing isn’t always everything, but I am trying so hard to focus on silver linings during this COVID-19 pandemic. Sleep evaded me for much of last night (and those of you who know me well are laughing right now because you know that not much keeps me from my precious sleep!). Some of my best thoughts come at unexpected times, and that was surely true last night. After saying my prayers, asking for peace, calm, protection, order, stability, good health (for loved ones and strangers), and clarity in the midst of the current chaos, I was inspired.
Backtrack a few weeks…Before we began preparing feverishly (no pun intended) for our response to COVID-19, Swain’s Admin Team had been searching for a new tagline to complement our messaging – to authentically share Swain’s value proposition in a market where many are not able to afford independent education, and many who can don’t fully understand or appreciate the worth.
Timing is everything!
To say we struggled to create just the right tagline is an understatement…until IT surfaced out of the blue like those thoughts that come miraculously in the shower! Expect Amazing! With seemingly full-team agreement, I planned to proceed in this direction…but I didn’t expect to be this inspired (the confirmation I was seeking, perhaps)!
Over the past week, as we have been forced to walk together as a community into the unknown, I have experienced just how amazing one can expect Swain to be!! The leadership of colleagues on the Admin Team, guidance from Board members, a wealth of knowledge shared by our Technology Integration Specialist, Pat Ruffing, dedication of faculty and staff, eagerness of our students to embark on this new adventure, and the patience and support of our families are all truly the most important ingredients in this recipe for success.
Amazing faculty who care so deeply about their students that they hand deliver materials, video daily weather reports to provide continuity and venture out of their comfort zones to prepare distance learning experiences for our students that take Swain’s commitment to the next level.
Amazing families who start on day one to provide structure and consistency for their children while thinking outside of the proverbial box, then share photos on social media, not with the intent to brag, but instead to offer ideas to those who might be so immersed in figuring out logistics that they do not know where to begin.
Amazing students who already miss being together and who are “all in” with the constructive use of technology to provide social interaction, collaboration and continued learning (OK, they may not be there yet, but I have faith our community will shepherd them to that point!).
Community members who want to help fulfill other needs within our immediate Swain community and throughout the Lehigh Valley during this crisis, particularly for those whom food insecurities, job insecurities, financial insecurities, and mental health insecurities may be looming…not to mention health insecurities.
A simple phrase that sets the bar high, but encompasses all that we know to be true about the Swain experience and yet we struggle to put into words. It is the special feeling that blossoms within the hearts of our community members and provides the foundation for every child being known, loved and challenged to be their best.
In the days ahead, as you learn to navigate our current “normal”, please share your thoughts on what you find to be amazing about Swain!
Written by: Karen Mitton, Director of External Relations and Secondary School Placement