Club Fair Rocks MacNeil

By Jack Horsman ’18

To say that this year’s club fair — which was held in MacNeil Lounge on Monday, September 16 — was a success, is a massive understatement.

Students packed the lounge during the club block on Monday to learn and talk about the wide variety of co-curricular offerings this school year.

“I think the club fair went well because any time in our community where we can make space for students… [and see] ideas and plans to come to fruition, that’s a good thing,” Dean of Equity, Inclusion, and Professional Growth Raquel Majeski said.

In previous years the fair was out on the Quad. But this year, in the venerable old lounge, the cacophony created by excited students — and the drum circle club — was amazing.

“I think that the energy was higher because there was a smaller area and everyone was around there,” said Mimi Zahavi, a senior day student from Westford. “Also, because it was in MacNeil it made it easier for people to walk in and out

“I feel like a lot of people showed up and were present,” added Claire Lanzendorf, a senior day student from Sudbury, MA – speaking to the fair’s not having to share the day.

That was the other different about this year’s club fair; it was held during the day in the new “club block” as opposed to after the very memorable, but always tiring Mountain Day.

“We’ve carved out in our schedule this time for clubs and having it during that time was great,” explained Ms. Majeski.  “It was an intentional design oto have that space and that’s awesome.

“I think a good amount of students showed up.”

By our count, nearly half the student body and many, many faculty members, attended the fair. And students enjoyed learning about the many offerings.

“In the past there have been a multitude of clubs that they were serious clubs; [but now] I like that we’ve started with some silly clubs,” added Mimi. “We have Croc club, that’s pretty epic. They just literally trade “jibbets,”

“I think having serious clubs like Umoja and then having Croc club, it’s a good balance,” she concluded.

Time To Try New Things

By John Bishop

Kevin Weaver ’20 Welcomes the LA Community to the 2019 – 2020 School Year

Groton, Mass. — As per the norm at Lawrence Academy, this morning’s all-school assembly — marking the start of the first day of classes — was student-focused.

That student-centered approach takes on many forms throughout a semester (year or career), but today LA’s 2019 – 2020 senior class president, Kevin Weaver, turned a mirror on himself and his classmates.

Senior Class President Kevin Weaver addressing the student body in the RMPAC.

Turning inward, Weaver reminisced about his own first few steps at LA and how he came to be standing on the big stage addressing the community.

“When Mr. Scheibe approached me and said he wanted me to talk about the school mission, I was extremely excited because it’s near-and-dear to my heart,” said Weaver.

“The first time I read the school mission, I was sitting in this RMPAC back three years ago,” continued the senior. “Mr. Scheibe told me, my parents, all of the other new students and all their parents that here at Lawrence Academy; we’ll figure out who we are and we’ll be able to find out who we’re going to become.

“I remember that moment,” he added, “because it seemed like an extremely daunting task.”

With the four-year assignment in hand, Weaver — the freshman — asked himself: “How am I going to figure out what I’m going to become? That’s big.”

The Senior Class Cabinet posing with Head of School Dan Scheibe after the assembly.

However, today’s Kevin told the RMPAC hat there wasn’t one big decision to make. No, Weaver explained that becoming one’s true self is a lifelong process that begins with many little choices; many of them made in high school.

“When you’re figuring out who you want to become, it’s down to the day-to-day; it’s down to the moment,” he emphasized. “Figuring out who you want to become is sitting with new kids cause you want to make new friends at your new school.

“Figuring out who you want to become is thinking all summer and realizing, ‘You know what, this year I’m going to push myself. This year I’m going to take an honors class.

“Figuring out who you want to become is finding your comfort zone, and realizing the right time to step out of it and try new things.”

And this was Weaver’s most crucial point.

“This is the perfect time to try new things,” said Kevin. “All of you freshmen out there… [three] years ago I said I wanted to be up here.

“And I realized the only thing stopping me was me.

“So, everyone, welcome to Lawrence Academy,” he said.

Hug A Student Leader!

By John Bishop

You can see the uptick in urgency; you can feel it, too.

Here in September (!) — with the first of autumn’s leaves turning color — there’s just something spectacular about seeing students stepping up.

Friendly faces all, here to give a hand to their fellow Spartans (as well as the faculty and staff). All weekend, they prevented nerves from taking center stage.

Even as Mr. Scheibe told new students, “It’s all new… It’s all good,” faculty and staff traversed the campus on Friday’s Athletic Preseason Registration with heightened purpose.

Summer was over and there was a necessary rise in the timbre of activity from the adults, all of whom were working their hardest to make the first few moments on campus as comfortable as possible for new and returning families.

But there, in the middle of it all, were Lawrence Academy’s student leaders — peer counselors, proctors, ambassadors, and Elm Tree Society members — ready to steady the hand of any nervous freshman (or uptight adult).

“Not only have the student leaders helped welcome and ground new students and families, they’ve made ME feel both comfortable and excited heading from summer into the school year. What a welcome and welcoming sight!”

Head of School, Dan Scheibe

As a result, this past weekend’s welcoming activities, practices, and — yes — there was some downtime, went off without a hitch. To which Mrs. Margraf, LA’s assistant head of school, this morning mused via email:

“If you see a student leader on campus, (decorated in tie-dye today), please give them a huge shout” out! They are working incredibly hard!”

Assistant Head of School, Libby Margraf

We’re all proud. But, honestly, nobody is surprised.

This is what LA leaders do: they rise to the occasion. But here in September (!) with the first of autumn’s leaves turning color, there’s just something spectacular about seeing all of the kids — and they are kids — stepping up to give a hand to their fellow students, as well as the faculty and staff.

Thank you, guys! #GoLASpartans!

It’s All New… It’s All Good

By John Bishop

Head of School Dan Scheibe told a packed Richardson-Mees Performing Arts Center (that’s RMPAC for you newbies), “It’s all new… It’s all good.”

An important message for everyone attending Athletic Preseason Registration to be sure; after all, each person in the building — parent/guardian or student-athlete — is preparing for another school year. Some boarding, some day. Some varsity. Some JV. Some nervous. Some confident. All (secretly) hoping they’re ready for an unknown 2019-2020.

However, there were the words on the screen: It’s All New… It’s All Good

Sad to be leaving home/student? NBD. It’s not goodbye. Instead, “It’s ‘Hello, until the next time we see you,'” said Mr. Scheibe. Nervous? Anxious? New or returning? “That’s good energy… Use it,” emphasized LA’s Head.

“I think what it’s really important to capture, and we’ll do this a few different ways while we’re still feeling new, is just that sense of renewal and energy that you get at the beginning of a school year,” he said. “And for those of us who have repeated that cycle — basically our entire lives — there’s nothing like it.”

However, the uniqueness of that cycle isn’t because of the required renewal. It’s unique because of what it anticipates.

“Yes, there’s a lot of new and different stuff happening, but… the most important thing that happens in a human’s life happens in a school year,” said Dan. “That’s developing your sense of who you are, becoming, we are going to become and getting this incredible sense of empowerment. “

Perhaps sensing the necessary juxtaposition between the Head of School before them, and the first-year students sitting in the audience, Dan brought out pictures of his own initial moments in prep school.

“At the same time [as we begin anew], we know we’re also becoming something else and somebody else,” said Dan. “So just to kind of make that point, please go to the next, uh, horrific slide.”

There stood young Dan Scheibe, like all new students, unaware of where he’d be 37 years later; carrying the benefit and the burden of “potential” – and, admittedly, all nerves in the moment.

“That’s the energy of you looking forward to something and about to become something,” said Scheibe, pointing to the teen in well-branded athletic gear. “There is a universality to it.”

So, whether it’s your first year at LA or your 38th, best wishes to everyone in the community during the 2019 – 2020.

From the Airport: Winterim 2019 Travel