July 1, 2016, a short 149 years removed from the birth of our country, Canada. Today, my family and I took in the parade and festivities surrounding Canada Day in Sherwood Park and then spent time with family for a BBQ. This has become a tradition in our family and it is one I look forward to every year.
Traditions are so important to my family and I. From my lovely wife making a second turkey at Thanksgiving because she knows how much I love turkey, her delicious stuffing, potatoes with a hole for the corn to go into and the gravy to go on top to our watching of White Christmas after 9:00 mass on Christmas Eve partnered with the yummy ham sandwiches and eggnog or chocolate milk. These are small family traditions that we have created over time, but they mean so much. The traditions of our Church are so very important as well. The rites that we follow as we follow our faith; baptism, reconciliation, communion, confirmation, and marriage are so critical to our development as a larger community.
School traditions are no exception. It is vital that we hold on the the traditions that have been created and are ongoing within a school environment. As a new principal enters a school, it is imperative that the principal learn the traditions and develop an understanding of and respect for the traditions of the school. Traditions are created over long periods of time and become a part of the culture of the school.
Merriam-Webster defines culture as, "the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time".
As a new principal to St. Martin's I am very curious about the cultural aspects of the school that are important to the school. What are the parts of the school that are non-negotiable mainstays, what are the historical traditions that need to stay? This will be a big part of my early time at St. Martin's. Despite my experience at the school, I want to make sure that any changes that may occur do not impact the history, traditions, and culture of the school as it exists.
With this in mind, please feel free to share what you love about St. Martin's. What are the beliefs or customs that the St. Martin's community shares that make St. Martin's what it is today, a high quality school that engages it's students in meaningful learning that prepares our students for their future.