Going Forward at Fifty by Nancy Mugele



I have heard it said that life can only be understood by looking back; even as it must be lived going forward. Well, for Kent School that is exactly what we will be doing on this 50th Anniversary Weekend as we celebrate our golden milestone and imagine our future.
Today we are holding a Golf Tournament at the Chester River Yacht and Country Club spearheaded by my fellow Spy columnist and Kent School Trustee, Jamie Kirkpatrick. I am offering my gratitude publicly although I know he would never want that. But, when you have a column to write it is always fun to give shout-outs. I would also like to thank all of the local businesses that are supporting our weekend events. Our greater Chestertown community is amazing and we are so very grateful for the generous spirit that abounds.
Tomorrow evening we will be holding a Gala celebration event at Brittland Estates. Fifty years is an incredible milestone in the history of any independent school and I am very proud to be the one holding the School in trust at this moment in the School’s history. I will salute all of the School’s founders for their vision to create a school, and all of the Trustees, School Heads, faculty and administration who have built Kent School’s foundation, and who sustain it now.
Kent School is not the same school it was 50 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Schools need to grow and develop just as our students need to do the same. As a school, we are committed to continue to build an inclusive and diverse student body. Today, we know much more about how students learn and think, and our knowledge in mind, brain, and education science informs pedagogy and our understanding of best practices in education. We are proud to be the only PK – Grade 8 school in Maryland, and now also globally, using research-informed teaching strategies in our classrooms with our partner the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning.
Last year we joined 180 independent schools in Harvard University’s Making Caring Common initiative to teach kindness, empathy and leadership and we celebrated Global Character Day this past fall with schools from around the world.
We are a dedicated Maryland Green School and we continue to refine and enhance our nationally recognized Chesapeake Bay Studies program expanding it to encompass all grades from Preschool through 8th Grade, working with wonderful partners like: Washington College and its Center for Society and the Environment, Sultana Education Foundation, Echo Hill Outdoor School, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the National Aquarium.
I am so pleased that the Horizons academic program to reduce summer slide returned to Kent School last summer, and along with the YMCA of Greater Chesapeake, our campus is now filled with joy all year round. The future of Kent School is very bright.
I just read Mary Saner’s new book What Else You Got? Freelancing in Radio. In her piece about Chestertown, she writes fondly about what drew her and her husband Buzz, a former Kent School board president, to the town. I could relate. It did not take long for Jim and me to be drawn to the friendly, welcoming character of Chestertown, and it is no wonder we felt that same warm and welcoming feeling the minute we both stepped onto the Kent School campus. Kent School truly is school – the way school was meant to be.
Kent School offers an unparalleled environment for learning on the Chester River just outside of historic Chestertown. Our students are challenged by a relevant and rigorous curriculum, enhanced by visual and performing arts, athletics and outdoor education. Character, friendship, and kindness are essential elements of our program, and we celebrate, appreciate, and preserve childhood.
Do come visit us if you have never been, and find out how you can become a part of our next 50 years!
Nancy Mugele is the Head of School at Kent School in Chestertown, a member of the Board of Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s, a member of the Board of Chesapeake Charities, and a member of the Education Committee of Sultana Education Foundation.

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