Meet Our Principal
I arrived early the morning of October 15th while a calm, unseasonably warm breeze hustled across the campus. Little feet scampered up the sidewalk to jump into what was just their eighth Monday of the 2018-2019 school year. Cars rolled through the car line and all was right with the world! Our school sparkled, neither a streak nor handprint to be seen. Everything was an “early, Monday morning fresh”!
It was my very first day as Lead Learner (aka Principal) for Brookwood School. Just atop my big, brown desk, there was a small, square note from a first grader named LuLu. You know those notes, the ones that are folded on lined paper with some side shreds, the ones you can’t wait to read the “top secret” information things like it always hold? This little note was just that. You could see where her little hands had carefully folded her very important note. Little did I know, young LuLu was giving me the secret ingredients to the recipe for leaving our mark on the world!
Her note said, in her very best spelling, “Welcome, Mrs. Bridenstine! You will do just fine if you remember our Brookwood Pledge, which is: WE ARE BROOKWOOD! We are kind and respectful. We listen and follow directions. We are prepared and ready to learn. We have good manners and character. WE ARE BROOKWOOD! That is all you really need to know to do great as our new principal! Love, Lulu”.
I studied the sweet way she had folded the letter and put my hands just on top of where hers had been so that I could fold it “just right” like she had. It was obvious the Brookwood Pledge is something very important to LuLu and to her classmates as they are making their mark on the world. LuLu knew that being kind and respectful was akin to the Golden Rule. She knew, with much certainty, that if we live, work and play together in a way that has us treat others the way we wish to be treated, which is with kindness and respect, we can be nature scientists, monarch rescuers, space and earth explorers, organic gardeners, wetland investigators, and stellar humanitarians.
In her introduction of the Brookwood Pledge, Lulu commanded that we embrace those characteristics learners hold dear—listen and follow directions. Without hesitation, that second line of the pledge inspired in me a commitment to our learning community to be present—be right where my feet are! A commitment to model that ever-important, steadfast quality of listening, which is paramount to connecting in an intentional way with our families and students. Listening, the sincerest form of respect, leads to deep understanding.
The Brookwood Pledge ends with the pledge that we are prepared and ready to learn and that we have good manners and character. These are promises that make us stronger so that together, we not only make our mark on the world but that we make it better through our unified way of knowing we can do whatever it takes to be successful—together. Like LuLu reminds us, We are Brookwood! Now, let’s go continue making our mark on the world!
Meleia Bridenstine, Ed. S.