July 2019
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Important Upcoming Dates 
Tuesday, August 6:  New Faculty Begin
Wednesday, August 8: All Faculty Return
Saturday, August 10: Springs New Family Event, 9-10 a.m.
Creek New Family Event, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Tuesday, August 13: Upper El Parent Orientation, 6-7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, August 14: New MS/HS Student Orientation, 1-3:30 p.m.
River Campus New Family Event, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Early El Parent Orientation, 6-7:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 15: MS/HS Meet-the-Teacher Open House, 4:30-6 p.m.,
MS/HS Back-To-School Night / 6-7:30 p.m.
Friday, August 16: K-1 Parent Orientation, 6-7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, August 20: First Day of the Semester - Creek & River Campuses
Springs Campus Phase-in Begins
YCC Parent Orientation, 6-7p.m.
Primary Parent Orientation, 7-8 p.m.
Monday, September 2: Labor Day: Student/Staff Holiday
Sunday, September 22: Community Picnic, 1-5 p.m., Shady Springs

Visit Headwaters.org/calendar for more details. Learn how to export your calendars by visiting  this link to the User Tutorial.


By Ted Graf, Head of School

With July winding down and as we return from adventure and play, back-to-school preparation is picking up across our three campuses. Before highlighting some of our summer projects, I hope you have enjoyed your summer and that you have gotten to play. My summer has been full of epic road trips, expansive novels, lots of swimming in the Atlantic, and often hysterical play with friends and family on the East Coast. 

In order to ensure our campuses are always welcoming and suited to work and play, here's a brief summary of some of the work that happened this summer.
  • On the Springs Campus , we replaced a playscape and swing set, refreshed the playground, and made some modest improvements to the nap room near the Sage Sparrows classroom.
  • On the Creek Campus , we moved a wall to accommodate a full class of Upper Elementary, reconfigured the visual art room, and painted the fences.
  • On the River Campus , we repaired and painted Building 3 (housing Admissions and Photography), moved some offices, repaired many of the classrooms, and installed several external security cameras.
In addition to the work on the campuses, we hosted summer camps across the school, prepared for new faculty/staff orientation, updated and revised our handbooks, revised our administrative structure, and welcomed some new faces to our talented team. The intent behind all of these changes is to simplify how we're organized, so we can focus on the quality of relationships across the school community. If you're curious about the new organizational structure, click here for the organizational chart . And, please rest assured that I'll be introducing and explaining the rationale behind the changes as I meet with faculty, staff, and parents over the next six weeks.

The administrative group has been reorganized into three teams -- Advancement (development, business oversight, and operations), Attainment/Community (admissions, enrollment, parent education and PVC, and marketing), and, of course, Academics/Program. I will work closely with the Academic Team to lead and oversee academics and programs, and, thanks to the organizational shifts, I plan to focus more closely on this area of the school. Amy Nylund will lead and oversee the work in Attainment & Community (along with Krista Phillips, Cait Taylor, Martha Peters, Tina Emer, and Jason Lewiss), and Alexandra Penry will lead and oversee our work in Advancement (along with Keelan Wackman, Gavin Wilson, Katie Fluchel, and Leslie Hirsch). 

Alexandra joined us in early July from Cambridge Friends School in Cambridge, MA. She brings a wealth of experience in development, financial aid, and admissions. We're also lucky as she has served in development offices at Valparaiso University and La Lumiere School and holds business degrees from Valparaiso. As you might imagine, Alexandra is eager to get to know the community, so she'll be attending lots of the back-to-school events. If you want to stop by and introduce yourself, she's sharing an office with Keelan and Gavin on the second floor of Building 5 on the River Campus.

You'll be hearing directly from Susie, Virginia, Roberto, and Dan about staffing changes in their respective programs and on their campuses. Suffice it to say, we're very excited about our small but mighty new class of staff and faculty joining us, and we look forward to welcoming them for an orientation on Tuesday, August 6. But before these new colleagues arrive, and in the spirit of play, many of us will be at an off-campus retreat August 1 and 2 to set personal and collective goals for the year.

Before signing off, a few reminders: 
  • For the Creek and River Campuses, the first day of classes is Tuesday, August 20! See the calendar for other back-to-school dates.
  • The Springs Campus programs will conduct a gradual phase-in opening of school to ensure that our youngest students have the time and support to adjust. You will receive your child's schedule from Susie.
  • And lastly, all of us here at school read BrenĂ© Brown's newest book, Dare to Lead , and we'll be exploring its implications for our school when all faculty and staff return on Thursday, August 8. I'm fascinated by her research on empathy and belonging and its impact on leadership. One of the reasons we selected the book is that she's an enthusiastic supporter of teachers and sees teaching as an important expression of leadership. If you're interested in reading the book and participating in a book group about it this fall, send me an email at headofschool@headwaters.org . If there's enough interest, we'll get that organized.
In these waning days of summer (and maybe as introduction to how BrenĂ© Brown thinks), I encourage you to consider the questions she and h er family asked of each other to better understand what types of play they shared in common: 
  1. What activity makes you lose track of time?
  2. What makes you feel free and away from the "have-to's?"
  3. What activity allows you to be yourself?  

We are so thrilled to invite our entire school community to our Annual Community Picnic on Sunday, September 22 from 1-5 p.m. at Shady Springs Party Barn. Shady Springs is located near the airport, about 10 minutes from downtown. We will have lots of fun activities and space to enjoy a Sunday with your Headwaters Community. Entry and food tickets will go on sale in August. Be sure to save the date! If you are interested in supporting this event as a sponsor, please reach out to Amy Nylund at a.nylund@headwaters.org.

We are so thrilled to have
Alexandra Penry   joining the Headwaters community this summer as our new Senior Director for Advancement and Strategy . She brings independent school and university-level development and admission experience to her role here at Headwaters.

Alexandra hails from northwest Indiana, near Chicago, and most recently lived in Boston. Alexandra continued her education at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. While at Valpo, Alex received her Bachelors, an MBA, and her Masters in International Commerce and Policy. It was there that she started her work in philanthropy as a member of Valpo's annual fund team. After graduation, Alexandra briefly worked as a restaurant manager, but found her true calling at her high school alma mater back in northwest Indiana where she became Director of Admission. Alexandra most recently served as Director of External Affairs at Cambridge Friends School, just outside of Boston.

After accepting her role at Headwaters, Alexandra, her husband Josh, and their Golden Retriever Jamaica moved to South Austin. Alexandra and Josh love to travel in the US and abroad. Alexandra is also an avid runner, having completed four marathons!

When asked what she is most excited about as she starts her new role at Headwaters, Alexandra said, "Not shoveling snow? Eating All. The. Tacos? Haha, seriously though, I'm excited to work with these dedicated educators, learn more about this very interesting place, and help grow connections with the community." And we think the beauty of this job is that you can eat all the tacos and help us grow!

Alexandra says this about what drew her to Headwaters School: 
"From my first phone call with Ted, I had a gut feeling that Headwaters was a special place. The resiliency, commitment to peace education, and the mission of the school all spoke to me. I went to a school where the teachers knew me and cared deeply about me, and I feel like it was the best possible foundation. Being able to work at a place like that just feels amazing."

Fun Facts from Alexandra:
  1. I love weird Japanese Kit Kats. The weirder the better. Matcha, banana, red mung bean, you name it.
  2. I love to cook. I made a new year's resolution two years ago to try one new recipe every week and I've stuck with it. 

This summer, rising senior Cat Gatti attended a three-week intensive camp for the University of Texas' Summer Discovery Fashion Design Program. While Cat is an avid fashion fan, she hadn't learned to sew before this summer. Before this camp, she went and learned the basics with Austin School of Fashion -- like sewing a skirt and zippers.

Once at UT, the camp focused on how to design and then create your own, original designs. In addition, Cat also took at Fashion Merchandising class to better understand the industry and how to sell fashion and open stores. "We went to a bunch of boutiques and learned about products and design. We even got to dress mannequins at a store near campus called c Jane."

After this camp, Cat says, "I want to pursue fashion and this gave me great insight into the future and taught me many things about what I want to do with my life and how to accomplish them." Great work, Cat!

Do you have student spotlights to add to The Current? Share your student spotlights and alumni accolades through this submission form We'd love to feature what you were up to this summer!  

Stay tuned to this section all year for upcoming events and opportunities to meet other parents. Here are some dates to add to your calendars for the start of the year:
  • Tuesday, August 20: River Parent Coffee, Whole Foods Plaza, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
  • Friday, August 23: Creek Popsicle Stay and Play, Creek Campus, 3-4 p.m.
  • Friday, September 9:Welcome to Creek PVC: Coffee at Crema, Crema Bakery & Cafe, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, September 10: Springs Stay & Play Afternoon, Springs Playground, 3-5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 11: MS/HS Parent Ed/Coffee: Social-Emotional Learning in Classroom Practice, River Studio, 8:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Friday, September 13: Springs Campus Parent Coffee, Springs Campus, 8:15-9:15 a.m.
We consider every Headwaters parent to be a member of our volunteer community, and we have many opportunities throughout the year to help the school in big and small ways. Please fill out the Parent Volunteer Interest form  and we'll help connect you with ways to help this fall!

The following passive fundraising programs help support our school throughout the year. Please bookmark and use often!
  • AmazonSmile
    • Our AmazonSmile charitable name has been updated to Headwaters School.The original name (Khabele School) will still show for customers who have already selected an organization. To correct this, existing supporters should temporarily select a different charitable organization and then re-select "Headwaters School" again. This will allow the information to update and display the correct name.
  • MightyNest
  • Boxtops For Education
  • Office Depot: School ID #70224992

We are starting a monthly visual trivia section at the bottom of the Current to familiarize you with new spots or share memorable places on our three campuses.

Take a look and name where this spot appears--the answer will be in the next month's Current!

Last month's photo is from the shed on the River campus. It's a tree design with handprint leaves sponsored by the Headwaters National Honor Society.

Do you want something shared with the community or a student spotlight? 
If so, please fill out our  Submission Form.
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