July 7, 2016
Dear Kent School Community,

JOY is my favorite word in the English language. I like it for its impact in just a few letters. I love to play it in Words with Friends or Scrabble because I feel as if I am sharing a little bit of joy with my opponent. And, I challenge you to say it without smiling just a little, even if only on the inside.

Christopher McCandless, the hiker who travelled the U.S. in 1990 after his college graduation living primarily off the land, and the subject of the book Into the Wild , wrote:

        The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

My family celebrated America's birthday this past weekend on Cape Cod at my brother's home. It is our annual tradition. My brother and I each have three twenty-something children who have very close connections despite the fact that we do not live in the same state. At the Cape house everyone has to host a dinner - planning the meal, shopping for the ingredients, cooking the meal and cleaning up. Last year we decided it was time for the "children" to take a night. While last year's meal was edible, this year's effort was spectacular. As I watched the cousins - who had been planning the meal for six months - I was struck by their joy in preparing our feast and their deep knowledge of each other's strengths and weaknesses. They took the meaning of team to a new level by relying on each other in a fun, casual, yet effective way.  

Helen Keller said: Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. This summer I plan to begin the process of getting to know better our Kent School team of Trustees, Employees, Students, Parents, Alumnae and Friends as together we move boldly towards the celebration of our 50 th anniversary.

As we look forward, I am pleased to let you know that effective immediately Tricia Cammerzell will be the Assistant Head of School for Advancement. I have been very impressed with Tricia's knowledge of the School and her expertise in both Admissions and Development. Melissa Haber has joined us as the Director of Finance and Operations. Melissa comes to Kent School from Indian Creek School where she has served in finance and admissions. I also had the privilege to teach Melissa a few years ago in my course at Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Melissa is thoughtful, energetic, and passionate about independent school education. I know she will be a great addition to our team. By now you have heard that Ben Joiner has accepted the position of Assistant Head of School at Radcliffe Creek School. I wish him much success in his career. Please be assured that I will immediately begin the search for an Assistant Head for the K-8 Program.

Like orchestrating a wonderful dinner, good schools require teamwork amongst teachers and those employees who support teaching and learning to provide an exemplary program for our students.  Good schools must also foster joyful learning.  When I visited Kent School last academic year on two occasions, I experienced joy in all aspects of the program. From Preschoolers on the playground to a 2 nd grader who read me her latest poem, to a 5 th grader who told me all about Chesapeake Bay Studies and to an 8 th grader anticipating her role in the musical, JOY abounds at Kent School.  I simply cannot wait until September to have our students back on campus.

As I write to you from my office in my first days as Head, I am filled with profound joy for the future of Kent School.  Together, as a team, we can do great things for our students especially when we continue to offer them new experiences and new horizons. I will be moving to Chestertown in a few short weeks and cannot wait to see my own "new and different sun" over the Chester River.

Please stop by to say hello if you are on campus this summer. I am thrilled to be on board!

With kindest regards,


Nancy Mugele
Head of School


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