The View From Here

A snapshot into life at Sonoma Academy taken from many angles, The View From Here is our bi-monthly blog featuring reflections from the Head of School, and other staffulty members. 

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  • The View From Here: Thanksgiving

    Moment of Reflection: Thanksgiving 

    I read this Moment of Reflection at this week's Community Meeting. It was a great opportunity to stand in front of the whole school community to express what I am feeling for our school as we head into a week off. Happy Thanksgiving to all! 

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. And that is saying a lot because I truly love holidays. If I am completely honest I love the build-up to other holidays but, for the actual day itself, Thanksgiving is my complete jam. It has everything—family and friends, delicious food (in our house even breakfast is a huge event because it’s our last meal before the main event), limited stress (unlike other holidays where presents can dominate and I am often assembling things until very late at night), football (yes, I do really enjoy watching football on Thanksgiving), and a great family hike (always a signature move after the aforementioned brunch in our house). 

    I also LOVE the fall. My birthday typically falls on the first day of fall although, to me, Thanksgiving is fall’s signature day. Like if you’re playing Scattergories and the clue is Fall, Thanksgiving is definitely on the list. By the way—I rediscovered Scattergories this past weekend and it is a very underrated game. I highly recommend playing it over break. So, in honor of my favorite holiday, I thought I would share a few of the many things I am thankful for as Thanksgiving is finally upon us.

    I am thankful for this beautiful weather… the much needed rain we have had and the sun and blue skies. We are so fortunate to live in California. 

    I am thankful for our dogs on campus. They bring so much love to those of us who need it, and they find unique ways to connect us. Special shout out to the students who walked Obie last week; it was the highlight of his day. 
    I am thankful for Anything but a Backpack Day. I have seen many a spirit week in my time (I am already planning my outfit for a future pink day), but anything but a backpack was so uniquely SA. Pure genius, and I absolutely loved what some of you came up with. 

    I am thankful for our seniors. We started the year by asking you to step up and lead our school. I mean this when I say that you have exceeded my expectations. I am already sad about only having a little more than six months with you on campus, and I want to enjoy each moment of that time with you.

    I am thankful for Modern Family. It’s not my favorite show. Not even in my top-20. But I love watching it with my family and it is really good for my 9 and 12 year-olds. I am a huge Cam fan, but my kids say I am a classic Phil. We started watching this fall and I am sad that we have almost finished all 11 seasons. 

    I am thankful for our Athletics program. What an incredible start to the school year for our athletes. I remember being out on Ziemer field in early August with our fall sports teams on the first day of the season. To think what you all have accomplished in volleyball, soccer, and cross country this season is truly remarkable. It is still going this weekend with the state cross country meet and we know that our teams throughout the winter and spring will carry on the best of sports and what it means to be a Coyote in that arena. Huge thanks to Chris and Kevin for their exceptional leadership of our athletics program. 

    I am thankful for Community Meeting. This is my favorite part of every week at SA. I love our senior speeches and our tradition that each senior addresses us as a school. I am so grateful for every moment of reflection. Huge thanks to Charlotte and Nathan for their dynamic duo last week — only at SA can we have such thoughtful reflections on Veteran’s Day and the Kardashians at the same meeting. I am also thankful for our wonderful musicians who often perform for us and add much needed rhythm and sound to our Wednesdays.

    I am thankful for our parking. Wow — it has been pretty smooth. Given that we were worried about our make-shift lot flooding on the first day and not having enough spots, it has been pretty smooth. I am also super thankful for the carport system — I actually think it looks cool and it is amazing that we will be net zero as a campus when it’s finished. 

    I am thankful for our lunches in the GAC. If Thanksgiving is truly about breaking bread together and giving thanks, I never take it for granted that we have the great privilege of doing that together every day at school. Plus, the food at SA is so delicious and so good that I never even think about bringing lunch to school. I even love the vegan cheese. So good. 

    I am thankful for the arts. There is not a day that goes by that I am not struck by the power of the arts at SA. From the artwork and murals on our walls and the music that’s created each day to our outdoor theater productions and the mesmerizing set designs, costumes, and stage production, the arts have inspired us and carried us through the pandemic. 

    I am thankful for our faculty, our staff, and our admin team. There are such amazing, thoughtful, and caring adults who work on this campus. Extraordinary people who transform all of our lives. There are so many reasons I love coming to work each day, and our incredible staffulty and the adults who make this school so dynamic is at the top of the list. 

    I am thankful for our alumni. We have over 1,000 alums of Sonoma Academy who are positively impacting communities and the world around them—from Sonoma County and throughout California and across the nation and the global community. Our alums are engaged in just about every industry and issue imaginable. We are so fortunate to have one of our inspiring alums, Percy Stubbs ‘10, with us today. 

    And, finally, the biggest thing I am thankful for is all of you, our students. You are each unique and original, your own person who adds so much to our collective whole, and I am so thankful that you bring your true and authentic selves to school every day. It creates the great heterogeneity of our community. Yes, there are some things that are mainstream at SA. For instance, I just ordered my first pair of Chuck Taylors in 20+ years (by the way, I wore teal ones when I was in high school), but the ethos of our school is an eclectic mix, an eccentric mash-up, that defies stereotype and doesn’t easily lend itself to uniformity. From organizing Wednesday as “Croc Day” (I forgot to wear mine today 🤦‍♂️) and teaching us the Clown’s Prayer to hearing your supportive snaps throughout the day and the thoughtful and caring way that you connect with one another, you are all awesome. I will be thinking about how thankful I am for you over the break. 
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The View From Here Archive

2500 Farmers Lane 
Santa Rosa, CA 95404 
(707) 545-1770 

Sonoma Academy Is...

...the only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On our beautiful campus nestled at the base of Taylor Mountain in Southeastern Santa Rosa, our students are able to explore their interests and passions in a rigorous and inspiring environment that develops a lifelong love of learning and prepares them for college and beyond.

Sonoma Academy admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.