February 2017 Head of School Letter

Dear Parents,

When I think of the qualities that define The Frances Xavier Warde School, one of the first words that comes to mind is community. From our preschoolers to our 8th graders, from our faculty and staff to parents and board members, we are united in our faith, spirit, service, diversity and inclusivity with a commitment to creating an academically enriching environment within the foundation of a tight-knit community.

At FXW, we are highly cognizant of the community as a whole. On some days, I feel overwhelmed with awe and amazement as I observe all that goes into making our School what it is. The engagement is palpable. In recent weeks, it was wonderful to observe the cooperative spirit among students, parents, faculty and staff at STEM night at Holy Name Cathedral (HNC) Campus. It was equally meaningful when our student body gathered for the Peace Mass to celebrate Catholic Schools Week; and, then again on Spirit Day that paired our younger and older students for a day of fun and team building. Finally, we recently hosted 7th and 8th grade basketball games in a compassionately competitive rivalry with Sacred Heart School/Hardey Prep. After we battled on the court, we then broke bread together.  I hope you enjoy viewing our photo gallery of these recent events.

These are just a few examples that distinguish FXW from other schools and each of these experiences puts in perspective what we have prioritized at FXW – building community. Frederick Douglass, in the mid-1800’s, gained recognition for being an author, abolitionist, and firm believer in the equality of all people. He stated: “if there is no struggle, there is no progress.” I am confident FXW will move forward—together. While we are constantly asking how we can improve, we must do so with an understanding that together – in partnership first – this is a place where we care about and support one another. This includes putting our challenges and struggles into perspective as we face bigger and more significant issues in our broader community.

Our belief in the value of community helps us all learn to work together in collaboration within the confines of our School, and just as importantly, as active participants in our larger world. Our partnerships with a wide range of organizations, such as Misericordia, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, United Church of Rogers Park Soup Kitchen and Polaris Charter Academy, bring life issues to the forefront. One of our best examples is Living the Legacy, which combines community and service—providing FXW families the opportunity to make a difference.

And, it goes without saying that Saturday night’s Gala was a wonderful testament to our community’s generosity of time, talent and treasure. I am truly grateful for the good will that our families demonstrate daily. Your continued support allows us to fulfill our mission.

With gratitude,

Michael Kennedy