Reflection from Kendall Mallette, Director of Mission Integration
A couple of months ago, our HNC campus psychologist sent me the link to the above video via MS Teams as if to say, “You gotta watch this!” I proceeded to click the link and for the next six minutes, I was mesmerized by the movement of the artwork created by our amazing Grade 4 students and the music it was set to by Kristin Wenc, Grade 4 Science and Art teacher. All students were fully remote at this time and this simple, yet powerful piece of student expression picked my spirit up in such a way as The Music Master, Power, and 90 other superheroes leaped off their pages. That blend of the practical and pedagogical in FXW’s curriculum, coupled with the spirit of collegial collaboration, is a “superstrength” of our staff and parent body.
Fast forward to this past Friday night when I streamed Zack Snyder’s The Justice League on HBO Max—a 4-hour masterpiece, which similar to our Grade 4 Superhero Showcase, synthesizes the genius of science and the beauty of jaw-dropping cinematography to create a storyline of epic proportions. I am not, nor have I ever been, a fan of superhero films or comics, but if this re-creation of the version of the film that hit theaters in 2017 is any indication of the future of superhero flicks, I am a convert. Apparently, fans and members of the cast and crew petitioned for the release of this film, which has been nicknamed the Snyder Cut.
Just as the “Snyder Cut” upped the ante on the make-believe world of The Justice League, FXW’s very existence has continually elevated the playing field of Catholic elementary education by virtue of how we live and breathe our mission which, in part, we have been able to document since we launched With Mission in Mind on May 22, 2017. It is through this communication that stories about our extraordinary community have been brought to life, reminding us that central to our mission is our Charisms which is like playing a choose-your-own adventure game with four wide doorways leading to different destinations: Academia, Faith Formation, Service to the Community, and Diversity and Inclusion.
Over the past 19 years I have had the privilege of having a front row seat to this school-wide evolution: first as a parent starting in the fall of 2001, then as a coach in 2002, and eventually as an employee, joining the Admission Team in a part-time capacity in the fall of 2015 and the High School Guidance Team in 2016. Then in November 2016, Head of School Michael Kennedy created the role of Director of Mission Integration where I have had the distinct honor of partnering with colleagues, students, parents and trustees in a unique capacity as we work towards collectively upholding our School’s mission.
Everything I do at FXW, including guiding the work of our newly formed Equity and Justice Forum, happens because of the brain trust of countless colleagues and volunteer parents working behind the scenes to help move the mission forward. It is what keeps us FXW Strong—humility and hard work. And so, it is with a humble heart that I share I will be moving on at the end of this academic year to a partner institution to serve as the first full-time Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at DePaul College Prep.
I leave you with these words of wisdom from Dr. Stone, the father and creator of The Justice League character Cyborg:
The world is hurt, broken, unexchangeable.
But the world’s not fixed in the past, only the future, the not yet, the now.
The now is you (FXW).
Now, now’s your time…to rise.
Do this, be this, (the man) I never was, the hero you are.
Take your place among the brave ones, the ones that were, that are, are yet to be.
It’s time you stand.
The time is now.
As we prepare for Holy Week, a time of year that is central to our Christian faith in preparation of our celebration of the victory of our risen Savior Jesus Christ, may we remember that FXW, even with the gift of diversity of thought, is only as strong as our unified spirit around the mission. Thank you for allowing me to serve our great community.
—Kendall Mallette, Director of Mission Integration