On Sunday, April 30, Concord Academy parents gathered with faculty and students for a personal experience of many of the fascinating things that go on at CA beyond the classroom. Prior to an afternoon of workshops, socializing, and dinner, all were welcomed to this community event by Head of School Rick Hardy and Student Head of School Mary Craig ’17, who gave families a glimpse of what makes attending CA such a unique experience for students. Read her remarks in full below.
Hi, everybody, and welcome to CA Beyond the Classroom.
I am a day student here at CA, and recently I realized that I spend more hours here during the week than I do at home. It’s because there is so much to do on campus that I’d need 10 more hours every day to get it all done. One of the things that has always made CA so special to me is the possibilities. Recently when addressing the Revisit Day students, I said I could not tell them what to expect from the day. And this is true: When I’m at CA, the creativity and passion flow so freely that I can’t predict what will happen on any day, what to expect from my peers, or even what to expect from myself. We are all full of hidden talents, and it’s the opportunity at CA that allows us to find them.
Today you will get a taste of a few of the exciting extracurriculars happening on campus. With a group of such multifaceted students and faculty, it’s difficult to name everything being created here. In my time at CA, I’ve gotten to participate in Dance Company, learn an instrument, write for the newspaper, and work with affinity groups like Alianza Latina — all things I only got to experience because of CA. And this is just a small number of the things students participate in; we have talented athletes, actors, visual artists, mathematicians, writers, and leaders.
The work we do on the field, in the studio, and on the stage translates itself into the classroom. It is often said that the most important value in a scientist is their creativity, because they can look at a problem in a way that no one ever has before. It is all the activities you will see today that cultivate that sense of free-thinking. When it comes to creative projects, I am always awed by what my classmates create. They have the ability to read a novel and see artwork rising out of its pages. Key examples of this are the senior projects my classmates have been working on this semester. They blend across disciplines, including projects on dance, music, painting, journalism, research, and engineering, just to name a few.
Lastly, I want to talk about a part of CA outside of the classroom that, although not as tangible, is integral to our lives here. We are all thinkers, something that comes with our curiosity and is nurtured in the classroom. As a result, we treat each other with this same attitude. We learn to listen, to speak when it matters, and we strive incredibly hard to stop and understand each other. It allows common trust to exist, and it allows us to share our stories every morning in the Chapel without fear. This philosophy of empathy allows our community to thrive in the way it does. It gives the space for students to be quirky in their creativity and limitless in their identity. It’s why student will graduate and move on to become innovators and leaders. Although empathy may seem to be an increasingly lost art, here at CA we learn and practice it every day. Building a private school with superb academics is possible, but creating one filled with this much talent and compassion is pretty rare.
Thank you, and I hope you have a wonderful day on campus with us.