Jaffe brings community together mid-quarter to encourage support

The longest quarter of the academic calendar falls during the season with the shortest days, and the cold and dark take a toll.

That’s why interim US Principal Ken Jaffe announced a short Tuesday assembly: “We don’t have the enthusiasm of the start of the year… the holidays have passed… and it’s another six weeks to Spring Break,” he said.

Then came the question: “How do you respond to stress?”

Jaffe shared that he walks down to Schilling to talk with seniors on their free block… and eats sugar. Then, he gave students a few minutes to talk to a neighbor about how they manage stress, and a murmur of energized voices overtook the Huss Center.

Turning to the broader community, Jaffe cited the recent national and international headlines about war and genocide, mass shootings and police brutality.

Jaffe also cited words that former principal Max Delgado, wrote to the community during the days after the murder of George Floyd: “We must all offer support and feel empowered to ask for support in ways that are authentic to who we are, and what we hope for in the world. We must remember, too, that we have the most immediate control over our community and so it is important that we engage each other with compassion, care, and open hearts.”

Unpacking the key pieces of this, Jaffe reflected on his high school experience, admitting that “feeling empowered to ask for support” was seen as a weakness when he was a teen, but he emphasized that today’s students should see asking for support as a strength.

He emphasized the line, “…it is important that we engage each other with compassion, care, and open hearts.” and invited the community to reflect quietly for a minute on what it meant for each individual.

The assembly was dismissed and Elected Group meetings began.