A Message from Jay Rainey

By the time that you open this magazine, I will have been working at MICDS for two months, but as of the morning that I gather these words to you – my very first on campus – I have only just begun. Outside my office window, a lone member of the summer grounds crew is blowing grass clippings off the brick pavers behind Olson Hall. Here indoors, a scant few of us are going about the quiet work that occupies a school in July.

These hushed circumstances notwithstanding, I already feel such a close connection to all of you – to this dynamic school community that I feel so privileged to lead – as another year in the long life of MICDS draws near to us. “Our share of morning, Our blank in bliss to fill.” Emily Dickinson would have written these words not long after her father’s New England acquaintance and our founder, William Greenleaf Eliot, took up residence in St. Louis. Just as 1859 was “morning” for Mary Institute, Eliot’s “blank in bliss to fill,” so is 2019 a new morning for all of us together, inscribing the blank page of another school year.

We have so many compelling stories to tell about MICDS in these pages. From a feature article on Sproule Love ’89, a champion stair racer, to the story of how 7th Grade Dean and Drama Teacher Charlotte Dougherty brings her love of theater to the School, to articles about students leading their peers through a Black History Month celebration, to a showcase of the Beasley educational experience – there is so much to enjoy.

This issue also highlights some of our beloved traditions at MICDS, including Commencement and May Day. You will witness once again, in a special section honoring our MICDS Fund donors, the remarkable culture of giving that distinguishes us among independent schools across the country. I hope you will also take time to enjoy our teacher recognition page, where we honor faculty excellence and celebrate service milestones and awards.

Now that I am here, you will be seeing a lot of me! I will be all over campus with students in all three divisions and at special events with parents, faculty, staff and friends, and I will be reaching out to connect with alumni at every opportunity. When you see me, please introduce yourself and tell me your stories. I want to know what it means to be an MICDS graduate, just as I want to know what it means to be an MICDS student today. Parents, I want to learn about the connections you’ve made, hear how we’ve made a difference in your child’s life and learn what we can do better. Knowing your stories will make me a stronger leader of this wonderful school.

In 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, reflecting on our increasingly online interactions, Yuval Noah Harari writes, “In order to flourish we still need to ground ourselves in intimate communities. The attempt to replace groups of people who actually know each other with imagined communities will never succeed.” I am committed to ensuring that we are a community at MICDS not merely in imagination but in fact, and in the most authentic and meaningful ways. I cannot wait to get to know you in the years to come.