Headmaster Seivold Welcomes Berkeley Back to School
It is with beaming pride and great excitement that I welcome you to the 2017-2018 school year at Berkeley Preparatory School. After yet another busy summer preparing for the year that is to come, our entire staff is eager and ready to engage each of our students in extraordinary ways.
Berkeley experienced tremendous success in 2016-17 in multiple arenas. Our students displayed outstanding growth at all grade levels, and our seniors were admitted to an incredible array of colleges and universities. Teachers implemented innovative lessons and units, and several new courses offered engaging opportunities for students. Our student-athletes were crowned Florida High School Athletic Association Academic Team Champions, our artists moved audiences and earned accolades broadly, and the school earned reaccreditation from the Florida Council of Independent Schools, which resoundingly endorsed both our current state and our aspirations. Belief in our work from across the Berkeley family resulted in record contributions to the Berkeley Fund and inspiring progress on Above & Beyond: The Campaign for Berkeley Preparatory School.
Of course, if you were with us last year you know all this, and if you are joining us for the first time, suffice it to say your timing is impeccable. We are poised to make 2017-18 our best year ever, and are confident we have the passion, commitment and desire for excellence to make it so.
People are at the heart of our enterprise, and we are thrilled to employ hundreds of the most dedicated educators and support personnel found anywhere. These professionals are distinctly devoted to fostering the best possible environment for each child’s education, so that each may attain their highest potential as a human being. Our new teachers and staff are being well oriented, and it is clear that we will be made stronger by the ideas and energy they bring.
Our program is exceedingly broad, and I encourage you to push your children to experience as many of our curricular and co-curricular offerings as possible. Learning occurs when people push themselves out of their current state (or ‘comfort zone’), take risks, and even, dare I say, fail. So they should strongly consider joining a choir, troupe, team, or club; and take an elective; and go on a trip – this is how passion is uncovered, and stars are born. Parents too, should be on the lookout for the many ‘Parent Ed’ offerings that we will host throughout the year; I hope you find them thought provoking and informative.
Our place continues to improve drastically, and I am thankful for your patience during this phase of construction. By late October, the renovations will be complete, and we hope you’ll visit us in the spectacular new Spirit Shop, and also say hello to Janie and the admissions team, Laura and the pros in Advancement, Tiffany in the Business Office, and me as well, in our new spaces. We hope that families will continue to be inspired to help ensure our school’s successful future as we seek to bring our capital campaign to a close; your consideration of a gift to our effort to fully transform our campus is greatly appreciated.
Looking further to the future, Berkeley’s outstanding Board of Trustees will soon be leading our next strategic planning process, and your input will be solicited, and is vital. Thank you in advance for helping us shape our future as an institution so that we can continue to offer a transformative educational journey for both students and families. And know that I am exceedingly eager and honored to soon visit with your children, support them and their teachers assiduously, and to partner with you as we raise and educate these precious young people.
With warmest regards and wishes for a healthy, joyous, and successful school year, I am,
Joseph W. Seivold