It feels quite strange to me to be writing my last first GreenSheet message of the school year—not because I am sad about retiring next summer, for that timing feels just right for me and my family, but rather because I remain so excited about and focused on all we are doing at Ellis this year.
I had a chance recently to look back at the remarks I shared with our faculty and staff at Ellis during our opening meetings last August. They included these wishes for the 2022–2023 school year:
I have one overriding wish for our students this year. It is that they all feel excited about being Ellis girls, they feel excited and confident about doing challenging things, they feel connected with each other and with us.
Have you ever wondered, "Are the trees of Mellon Park native to Pittsburgh? If not, how did this selection come to be?” Or, "What’s the history of performing arts in Mellon Park? And whatever happened to the bagpiper who used to play there?” or "What happened to the various mansions on the property?” If so, you are in great company, because the Class of 2025 has been grappling with these same types of questions and more.
With our clear focus on building all the skills and muscles that our girls will need to leave us ready and excited to have an impact on the world, it is particularly important that we weave many moments into their time at Ellis when they tussle with real-world challenges, problems, and opportunities.
I grew up in a household full of athletes. My brothers and my dad played college basketball, and my dad has been a college coach for as long as I can remember. I honestly can’t think of a time when sports and competition weren’t woven into my daily life. I played baseball, softball, basketball, and volleyball and developed a spirit and love of the games. But even more impactful to me than a love of the game was a love of the teams.
I started the practice of addressing you as "Ellis Family” in my communications early in my time at Ellis. This felt so right, and important to me, because of the value I place on Ellis being a school community that has some of the key qualities of a strong family.