14 Sep A Word From Mr. Satterly—September 14, 2017
Dear Westminster Academy Family,
Our community has experienced a rather harrowing week, but our school has emerged largely unscathed—praise God from whom all blessings flow. Many were evacuated and are making their way home. Others of us rode out the storm here. All of us have stories to tell. I suspect this past week will quickly become part of our journey together.
Sunday morning, as the storm approached, our family gathered for a time of prayer and worship. Perhaps unsurprisingly we were drawn to Mark 4:35–41, “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet, be still!’ Then the wind died down, and it was completely calm.” The storm not only reminded us about the power and might of our Father, but it also highlighted the brokenness of our world. As Irma’s winds howled, they echoed that this is not the way things are supposed to be; and so on that Lord’s Day, even though we were not able to gather for corporate worship, we celebrated that in His resurrection. Jesus conquered not only death but is conquering the brokenness of our world.
Crisis and calamity have a way for forging relationships and bring out the best in people. I am very proud of our staff as we have worked together throughout the storm. Our facilities team hit the ground just as soon as the winds died down. Even now, members of our team are working to prepare for school restarting on Monday. Now that hurricane shutters have been removed, and power is being restored, albeit a bit slow for some, we can assess the damage and get on with recovery. It appears that most of the damage to the east campus was confined to landscaping, fencing, and trees. Out west, the damage was a little more substantial as all venues received some impact. Fortunately, none of that will be a long term issue.
All of us have questions regarding moving forward. Events will need to be rescheduled and in some cases canceled. Certainly, we want to maximize instructional time to meet our academic and program goals, so consideration will be given to the school calendar as well as accreditation standards and direction from state officials. The discussion will center on mission critical priorities, opportunities and logistical matters, and simple viability. Many of our events, such as athletic contests, involve other schools and will require coordination. As soon as decisions are made, we will communicate changes and necessary information. We will need to exhibit flexibility, patience, and discernment.
Every school year affords challenges and opportunities. This year ours is called “Irma.” Let’s work together to move forward well.
For those of you still traveling home, please be safe. For those of us here that are dealing with inconveniences such as no power or drivers who don’t understand four-way stops, please be considerate. As a reminder, the campus remains closed through the week to allow our team to get things in order for Monday.
I will look forward to seeing you safe and sound on Monday, September 18, which will be an “A” day for the Upper School.
Grace and Peace,
Joel T. Satterly