Head of School's Message: January 28

A friend of mine who lives in Pennsylvania knows a mom whose son, Jamie, was trying for a part in his school play. He had his heart set on being in it, although his mom feared he would not be chosen. 
On the day the parts were awarded, my friend accompanied Jamie’s mom to collect him from school. He described how Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement, “I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer,” he said. “That was a kid who knew how to handle disappointment,” said my friend.
At Friday’s all school assembly following a Mulan teaser, I asked the seventh and eighth grade students who were involved in the cast and crew of Mulan, to stand. The first two of four performances with two different casts took place this past weekend with two more performances this coming weekend. A few tickets are still available. Over eighty students stood up. That’s almost half the middle school student body. It’s fair to say that every student in the middle school who wanted to be in Mulan had a chance to participate either as a cast or crew member. That’s not to diminish the virtue of being a student audience member who claps sand cheers, but one of the advantages of being in a small, independent school like Chandler is that students have opportunities to participate in activities like school plays that they may not have tried before. If students have their hearts set on being involved, or they want to try something they have not tried before, Chandler productions have a place for them. No one is disappointed.
Friday’s intermission found parents gathering in the Rothenberg courtyard expressing varying degrees of surprise mixed with pride at how well their kids were doing. “Who knew?” said one dad with a smile after I complimented his son’s comic timing on stage. School success cannot be measured by academic achievement alone.
It was good to see alumni, and students from other grades in attendance on Friday night. One third grade girl brought her friends to the play before a sleepover celebrating her birthday. There is nothing like a live performance. Congratulations to Director Brandi Williams-Moore and to the cast and crew and thanks to the many parent volunteers who helped with costumes, make-up, sets, lights, sound and refreshments.
After 27 years of service to Chandler with a song constantly in his heart, creative ideas coursing through his brain and a melody fueling his soul, music teacher Will Salmon is retiring at the end of the school year. A four-month encore is called for before Will joins his beloved wife Vicki who retired last year after thirty years as a public school music teacher. Will leaves behind a broken mould, devoted fans, and a legacy of Chandler music teaching excellence that Brandi Williams-Moore grows from with her work. A search has begun to hire new music teacher who will join Brandi at the start of the 2019-2020 school year.
PARENT EDUCATION – Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m.
Please join us at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Middle School library to hear Dr. Kathleen Lytal talk about common sports injuries in children such as concussion and overuse injuries. She will address the importance of prevention and maintenance with hydration and nutrition.
Kathleen Lytal is a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente’s Pasadena Medical office, where she has been practicing for the last 3 years. She is a double board certified physician in Pediatrics as well as Sports Medicine. Kathleen was born and raised in Orange County and grew up participating in a variety of sports with her 3 active brothers. She then attended college at the University of Notre Dame where she was a Division 1 athlete and Big East Champion as a member of the women’s varsity rowing team. Her medical training included medical school at University of Louisville followed by a pediatric residency at UC Irvine/Children’s Hospital of Orange County and then sports medicine fellowship at Northwestern University. She is happy to be back in Southern California for good where she now enjoys quality time with her husband and 9-month old son in addition to keeping her growing practice of patients happy and healthy.
To celebrate the Rams reaching the Super bowl, Friday will be a free dress day for all students. Students may wear gear that represents their favorite NFL team, and if they choose not to wear football themed gear they are welcome to come in free dress. Hats will be permitted on Friday.
Most sincerely,
John Finch
Head of School