Head of School Letter – October 7, 2022

Dear Families,

As we welcome in October with the first month of school behind us, my colleagues and I are grateful for the engagement and enthusiasm of parents and students that have contributed to such a strong start to the year. I also share my deepest appreciation for my colleagues for their outstanding efforts contributing to a wonderful school year—right from the start.

For those new to FXW, you will receive a letter from me on a regular basis. The main goal of these communications is to update you on what is happening at FXW. I also take the opportunity to share some insights into independent school trends, or simply share some of my thoughts on our unique community.

I ask for your forgiveness ahead of time. My sometimes self-deprecating humor is intended to keep things light, and if I ever sound too preachy, tell me. Years ago, a parent inquired if these were called “monthly” messages because it took about a month to read the entire letter. Since then, these communications have been more sporadic and less loquacious.

Thirty-three years ago, the late Maggie Daley and Fr. Jack Wall from Old St. Patrick’s, saw a need for a new Catholic school here in Chicago. As FXW has grown to become the city’s largest faith-based elementary school, so too has my motivation to “shout from the rooftops” all the good news about FXW. Today, that need for another Catholic school has evolved into the need for an FXW-type school. Here are a few insights from independent school thought leaders that validate our FXW mission.

• Years ago, I came across a wonderful column in The New York Times titled “The Moral Bucket List” by David Brooks. While recently revisiting these inspiring words, it made me think of our FXW community.

In this article, you will learn how Brooks has come to the conclusion that “wonderful people are made, not born… slowly from specific moral and spiritual accomplishments.” I wholeheartedly agree, and the evidence of our alumni’s success in so many walks of life is the beautiful proof that FXW is creating not merely wonderful students, but wonderful people.

In recent months, I have had several reminders to look at things with perspective. Whether it’s an uncertain health diagnosis, or the loss of a parent — which several of my colleagues have recently experienced — these instances call for reflection and put things into perspective.

• One individual whose blog I often read is Michael Josephson of the Josephson Institute. A nonpartisan and nonsectarian nonprofit organization, the Institute works collaboratively with influential organizations and individuals in a variety of fields. I offer this piece, What Will Matter, and suggest that parts may be worth sharing with your children.

As we come to the close of Week 2 of The FXW Fund, our annual fundraising campaign, I am reminded of the enormous generosity of our community. The five-week only campaign is designed to raise the necessary funds to support all that you appreciate and value at FXW. Your gift is an affirmation of the FXW mission, the Charisms, and an indication of your support of our program and our people. If you haven’t already, you can donate here. Once you give, you no longer receive emails asking to give but if ever you have “Fear Of Missing Out” of the multitude of emails, please let me know and we can always flood your inbox.

Finally, I want to reiterate our faculty and staff’s gratitude for such a great start to the school year. It has given all of us tremendous joy to see us continue our return to normalcy with a full slate of co-curriculars and athletic events, a wonderful Homecoming, and grade-level parent socials organized by our fantastic Parent Advisory Committee (PAC). We are also excited that on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 9 a.m. on our HNC Campus, we will host authors Rosalind Wiseman and Shanterra McBride as part of our Maggie Daley Speaker Series.

The vibrancy of our School and our community is reverberating just as Maggie Daley and Fr. Jack Wall had faith it would all those years ago.


Michael Kennedy
Head of School