From the Head of School

My first year at Viz was, in a word, phenomenal. I’ve never felt more welcomed into a community. This same spirit of hospitality was in abundance at Monday’s Welcome Back Family Picnic. What a pleasure it was to converse with so many of you! Thank you to the Mothers’ and Fathers’ Clubs for putting on this amazing event.
As I begin my second school year, I am filled with gratitude, joy, and excitement, and I want to start out the year by sharing my goals for 2019-2020. I’ve based these goals on what I’ve heard from the Viz community over the past year: my interactions with the students, parents, alumnae, and pretty much everyone I’ve spent time with. The general points are fairly broad, but stay tuned as our efforts will become more granular in their implementation. There are three goals, and all of them have the convenient mnemonic of starting with the letter “C.” (All due deference to Cookie Monster, but none of them have to do with cookies.)
  • Charism: One of my primary responsibilities is to preserve the Catholic and Salesian charism of our school. A group of us recently returned from a pilgrimage to France, where we encountered the history and spirituality of the Visitation community. Our very real goal is to truly “Live Jesus” in the classroom, on the playing fields, and indeed in all our interactions with one another. We will be sharing more information about the pilgrimage with you throughout the year.
  • Community: One of the most impressive things about St. Louis is its patchwork of communities. Viz is one of those communities, and people affiliated with it have fierce loyalty. Another goal is to further strengthen those bonds. We want to make sure our students have a strong school spirit. We want to be sure our families feel welcome at our events, whether the event is attending Mass or going to a state championship. We also want our alumnae to feel welcomed back to their home. A large part of that is accomplished through clear and timely communications, making sure people know what’s going on and when it’s happening. Our portal is one way to stay in touch, and we also are making sure we communicate through social media and increasingly old-fashioned email.
  • Curriculum: Visitation Academy is known as a great school and making sure our students are lifelong learners, prepared to thrive in the world, remains a top priority. Specifically, we are looking more closely at how to best utilize our single-sex environment to create confident young women. We have many great programs that give our students opportunities to learn through doing: Robotics, Coding, Entrepreneurship, Mock Trial, Visions literary magazine, Campus Ministries, and Emerging Media are just a few.
These are fairly broad categories, but I believe they serve as a good prism through which you can view the coming year. I hope they allow you to make sense of what we are doing and provide context and direction. As the year unfolds, the specific details of these three points should become readily apparent.
As always, I’d love to connect with you to discuss what we are doing and where we are going. These goals are based on the feedback I received over the course of the past year, but I would expect this list to change and evolve over time. Next year’s list may look very different, or it may be a deeper dive into what we are currently doing. Either way, we are committed to continuous feedback.
I’m very excited about our students returning to school tomorrow and look forward to seeing you all again soon.
Yours in Christ,
David