Gathering Our Community
Head of School Darryl J. Ford introduced this year’s theme, the Quaker testimony of community, at the All-School Assembly that officially welcomes students and teachers to a new year.
“We often speak of community as being one of the most special characteristics, which defines who we are as a school,” Ford said. He described the new campus banners that help remind us of the theme and help us understand it.
More than 900 students from grades 1 through 12 gathered with faculty, staff and school leaders to ring in the 2016-17 school year. Ford unfurled the Class of 2017 banner to cheers from the senior class and everyone gathered.
Ford put forth his hope for the 2016-17 school year, “So as we take on difficult topics this year – topics like politics; socioeconomic status; race; equity and justice; gender; and many, many issues – I hope we, as a school, can tackle differences of opinion, strive to understand others’ points of view with empathy, and remember that in community, we survive and thrive together.”
Together, Amira Martin and Joshua Patton, co-presidents of the senior class, spoke about Quaker consensus, conversation, compromise and community. Josh and Amira shared their experiences as Penn Charter students and recognized that it is the Penn Charter community that has supported them throughout their time here — and is why they love the school today.
“We must work together to ensure that we are not just a community by definition, but by practice," Josh said.
“Consensus involves compromise, and to achieve a compromise everyone has to be willing to let go of something individually in order to benefit the greater good,” Amira echoed.