A Message from Jay Rainey

Dear MICDS Family,

When I was in college, Jimi Hendrix’s album Axis: Bold as Love was on heavy rotation in my CD player. The song Little Wing especially captivated me—the artful progression from minor to major chords that evoked Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D in inverse, with lyrics that conjured a dreamy ingenue in nature: “She’s walking through the clouds / With a circus mind that’s running wild. / Butterflies and zebras, and moonbeams and fairy tales / That’s all she ever thinks about, riding with the wind.”

In my final summer before graduation, in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia where I had grown up, I started a little business providing tutoring and test preparation services for high school students. It was my first serious foray into the work of education. A novice desktop publisher (does anyone remember Aldus PageMaker?), I got a little carried away on the cover page of my course materials. “Little Wing Press,” announced the footer. “Copyright 1992.” I suppose I was implying a connection between Hendrix’s lyrics and the limitless possibilities I imagined for my students. A close friend who saw it at the time—he is now the head of a school on the East Coast—has never let me live it down.

On page 14 of the print magazine you will find our cover story, Learning Takes Flight, which details the production and enjoyment of fanciful wings by students in our senior kindergarten and first grade classes. In other articles, too, you will read about our students’ community service efforts, their entrepreneurial endeavors, and their artistic creativity. You will read about our teachers’ constant efforts to elevate the student learning experience across grade levels and subject areas through innovation and investments in their own professional growth, and you will even find profiles of MICDS staff and alumni who are “taking flight” in ways all their own.

What did Jimi Hendrix mean, I wonder, by “a circus mind that’s running wild”? I still like to think it has something to do with limitless possibilities, elevating above our everyday grooves in pursuit of adventure and discovery. The experience of learning can be this way, and we are committed to making it ever the more so—to taking flight at every opportunity—as we continue to expand and enhance our work with children and young people at MICDS.

I wish you wings in your own life, too. Happy reading!

Jay Rainey
Head of School