Comfort Zones by Nancy Mugele

Share

From the first time I watched The Wizard of Oz as a young girl, I vowed never to get into a hot air balloon. I was more afraid of the balloon than the Wicked Witch of the West – or her monkeys. Why fly in an unsteerable aircraft subject to the whim of the winds, when you can simply click your heels together and find your way safely home. Seriously, hot air balloons truly frightened me. While I was not really afraid of the experience of “flying” – I became consumed with panic when I thought about the actual landing.

I was convinced that hot air balloons were not safe. After all, the heated air inside the balloon is propelled by an open flame of burning liquid propane. Seems like a recipe for disaster. And, then there is the woven wicker basket – the only thing holding you in, and holding you up. No, thank you.

Last weekend I snuck away to Napa with Jenna and Kelsy for the first of, I hope many, Mugele Girls Weekends. Yes, you guessed it. I was pressured to take a hot air balloon ride. Jenna made me do it, and she was the birthday girl who made the reservation, so I could not back out. I was petrified.

On a regular basis, we tell our students at Kent School not to be afraid to take risks. We push them out of their comfort zones with challenging academics, performing and visual arts exhibits, physical education and athletics, outdoor educational experiences on the water, overnight trips and class-bonding trust exercises. Now it was time for me to take the advice I give students and expand my own personal boundaries.

On the morning of the scheduled sunrise balloon trip, we arrived at the location in the dark. As a result, we did not notice the heavy fog sitting on top of the Napa Valley. Balloons cannot fly in fog so we were given the choice to drive 45 minutes away where the balloons would be able to fly. We decided to go, although it meant we would view the sunrise from large windows in passenger vans, and it also meant more time for me to obsess about the balloon ride and the subsequent landing.

Our balloon operator literally looked like Professor Marvel. He had been flying balloons for 28 years which was a comfort to me. Despite the fact that the basket did not have a door, meaning we had to climb into our compartment, all I can say is that the flight was magical. The scenery was breathtaking as we gently floated over the terrain. It was peaceful and the ride was silky smooth. The landing, well, that is another story. Thankfully there is no video. I may have screamed a bit, but I conquered my fear. I cannot describe the feeling of completing a task that I had never in my life ever expected to do. It felt incredibly joyful. There was an adrenaline rush I had not experienced in a long time and it was so exhilarating. I think my daughters were just as excited as I was that I went on the ride, exited the basket (with a little help), and was standing to tell the story.

I saw the same joyful expressions on my students’ faces this week in photographs from Middle School Chesapeake Bay Studies trips with Sultana Education Foundation and Echo Hill Outdoor School. There is truly nothing better than stretching yourself in a safe place. Whether in the classroom or in an outdoor classroom, research indicates that deeper learning happens when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone.

In Napa, I also popped a cork off a bottle of champagne by slicing through the bottle top with a saber à la Napoleon Bonaparte, who famously said, “In victory, you deserve champagne; in defeat, you need it.” I even received a certificate for mastering the art of sabrage, which I plan to display. Another out-of-comfort-zone experience I will savor for a long time. Cheers!

Nancy Mugele is the Head of School at Kent School in Chestertown and a member of the Board of Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s.

Social Action Committee to Interview Kent County Candidates

Share

 

A meeting of the Social Action Committee at Sumner Hall

The Social Action Committee (SAC), a group of over 100 community members that came together in 2017 to address racism in our community, has invited candidates running in the Kent County elections to be interviewed by members of the SAC. The SAC is comprised of a number of subcommittees, each with a specific focus to actively dismantle racism in the community in areas such as education, jobs/employment, politics, and community social events/observances.

The SAC has invited each of the candidates running in 2018 for the Board of the Kent County Commissioners, the Board of Education, and the State’s Attorney’s Office to be interviewed this October. Each interview will be conducted by two members of the Social Action Committee, using a list of questions related to the topic of racism in Kent County, and specific to each elected office. The questions were developed jointly by the SAC and the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)—Kent Branch. In order to document the candidates’ responses to the interview questions, members of the media have been invited, and youth members of the SAC will videotape the interviews.

When asked to comment on the importance of the Social Action Committee’s work and its interview questions to the candidates, Wayne Gilchrest and Airlee Johnson, members of the SAC, said the following:

The Social Action Committee, a group of citizens with diverse backgrounds, a wide range in ages and ethnicity, has come together for a dialogue with Kent County residents to bring a brighter future for our children. We would like to start that conversation with you. –Wayne Gilchrest

All information we receive from the candidates is very important as we make our voting decisions. Our community has a historical system of racism and community exclusion of our different groups of citizens. It’s important for the Social Action Committee and the public to understand how the candidates will work to dismantle this system. We chose a more informal approach to our candidate interviews in a very relaxed atmosphere. Our hope is to receive more relaxed and thought-provoking answers. The candidates will be talking to 2 or 3 people as compared to rooms in excess of 50 people. –Airlee Johnson

Sumner Hall

The Social Action Committee holds its meetings on the second Tuesday of each month, 6:00 PM, at Sumner Hall: 206 S Queen St., Chestertown. The next meeting of the SAC is Tuesday, October 9th. Meetings of the SAC are open to all members of our community and are sponsored by the Kent County Local Management Board (LMB). Contact Rosemary Ramsey Granillo, Director of the Kent County LMB, for more information: Office: 410-810-2673; Cell: 410-490-6168; email: rramseygranillo@kentgov.org. You are also invited to visit the SAC’s Facebook page.

Night Work on Chester River Bridge Sept. 23-27

Share

The Chester River Bridge on Route 213.

Bob Rager, District Community Liaison with the Maryland State Highway Administration, announced in email Thursday that overnight mechanical repairs/adjustments to the MD 213 bridge over Chester River in Chestertown will begin this Sunday, September 23.  Hours will be Sunday through Thursday night, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

This work follows the recent installation of new motors for the draw spans.  Occasional bridge openings lasting approximately 15 minutes each may be necessary during the overnight hours. Travelers who need to cross the bridge during those hours should allow for possible delays or plan alternate routes such as MD 290 through Crumpton.

 

Church Hill Theatre “Hitched” — A Play by Earl Lewin

Share

Let the Party Begin! The cast of playwright Earl Lewin’s “Hitched” – Front row – Amy Moredock, Howard Mesick, Jane Jewell, Christine Kinlock, Chris, Rogers, Back row – Charles Moore, Peggy Chiras, Steve Hazzard      Photo by Peter Heck

BC Productions proudly announces the premiere of Hitched, the latest script by Chestertown playwright Earl Lewin. “Hitched” is a slang term for getting married. The dictionary defines it as “loosely tied.” This is a family’s tale of pulling formality and informality into one uncomfortable knot. 

Hitched tells what happened when the widely dispersed members of a large family all return home for the “big wedding.”  Now they are all together again for the first time in years and staying in the same house! The mix is a clash of cultures and generations that will have you laughing and crying at the emotional relationships that make this crazy family care about and love one another.

The scene opens in the living room of middle-aged Millie Baker. Millie is 15-years divorced and looking forward to hosting family members at her home in Phoenix for her nephew Jim’s wedding weekend. Blow-up mattresses at the ready, her family (including the unexpected appearance of her ex-husband) convergences on her home and then on her comfort zone. Her brother Harry is several times divorced and living in Philadelphia with his current wife, Penny who is half his age. Jim–Harry’s son with his first wife Linda–is marrying into a socially significant Phoenix family. The wedding is supposed to be a dignified and formal affair. Only maybe not with Uncle Harry and Aunt Rhoda on the loose!

A heart-to-heart talk between mother and son in “Hitched” (Howard Mesick and Peggy Chiras)     Photo by Peter Heck

Among the house guests is Millie’s son Bruce. Millie is unaware that Bruce, a professor at Georgia State University, is gay. Bruce is bringing his partner, Spike, to introduce him to the family. Spike is a civil rights attorney practicing in New York City. Harry’s sophisticated cousin Brenda also lives in New York City. Millie’s outspoken, obnoxious Aunt Rhoda is among the guests. Millie’s ex-husband, now running a mission for orphan boys in New Guinea, shows up uninvited asking Millie to take care of him while he recovers from minor surgery.

Performances of Hitched will be held at Church Hill Theatre over two weekends beginning on Friday, September 28th and running through Sunday, October 7th. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8 pm, and Sunday matinees begin at 2 pm.

The cast includes Peggy Dixon Chiras as Millie.  Chiras made her on-stage debut in Lewin’s 2015 production of Accidentally Wealthy and more recently starred in the 2016 production of Saint George’s Blues. Steve Hazzard portrays Harry, also appearing in Accidentally Wealthy and Saint George’s Blues. Hazzard first appeared at Church Hill Theatre in How the Other Half Loves and has acted in many roles in Michigan theater productions. Portraying Harry’s wife Penny is Christine Kinlock who appeared in Lewin’s Orlando Rising. Other recent credits include Rowena in Biloxi Blues; Rosalind/Ganymede in Shore Shakespeare’s As You Like It; the title role in Sylvia at The Garfield; and Hermia in Shore Shakespeare’s A  Midsummer Night’s Dream. Chris Rogers plays Millie’s ex-husband Spencer. This performance marks his sixth BC Production. Rogers is a well-known, local actor and co-founder of the Shore Shakespeare Company. He will next appear as Henry Lodge in Move Over, Mrs. Markham with Tred Avon Players in Oxford at the end of October.  

Howard Mesick portrays Millie’s son Bruce. Mesick is both a playwright and a familiar face on local stages playing lead roles with The Garfield, Church Hill Theatre, and Shore Shakespeare Company. Portraying Bruce’s partner Spike is Charles Michael Moore. He has acted in productions of You Can’t Take It With YouYou’re A Good Man Charlie BrownHurlyburly, Fugue In A Nursery, The Importance Of Being Earnest, Wit, Under Milk Wood, Woyzeck, and The Rocky Horror Show. He has also directed shows for both Washington College and Church Hill Theater. Amy Moredock portrays Brenda. Moredock has performed in many BC Productions including The Burgundy Wine Mob and Not Responsible which provided her with NYC experience. Other credits include Church Hill Theatre performances as Regina in The Little Foxes, Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Elvira Condomine in Blithe Spirit. Aunt Rhoda is played by Jane Jewell who is well-known to Eastern Shore audiences through her performances with BC Productions, Church Hill Theatre, The Garfield, and Shore Shakespeare’s 2016 summer production of Macbeth. Tom Dorman portrays Grimm. He has played a wide range of impressive roles at Church Hill Theatre and The Garfield. Dorman portrayed the title role in Lewin’s Orlando Rising. Rounding out the cast are Eddie Dorman (cab driver), Troy Strootman (Jim), Maya McGrory (Victoria), and King Kong and Yoda playing themselves. 

Assisting Lewin with the production is an equally experienced and accomplished crew: Kathy Jones (Stage Manager); Lewin (Set Design/Construction); Rogers (Sound Design); Doug Kaufmann (Lighting Design/Operation); Speedy Christopher (Sound Operator); Eddie Dorman, Bruce Smith, Kevin Chiras (Stage Crew).

At the wedding in “Hitched” (Steve Hazzard, Christine Kinlock, Amy Moredock)   Photo by Peter Heck

Lewin, a published playwright, having had two one-act plays published by Baker’s Plays, brings his extensive experience to directing his own script. Church Hill Theatre has a collaborative history with Lewin having provided a venue for Lewin’s original scripts including two musicals She Stoops to Conquer, The Musical and Celluloid both featuring musical scores by Dick Durham. Celluloid played Off-Broadway in 2010. His murder-musical The Burgundy Wine Mob also debuted at CHT to go on to an Off-Off-Broadway production in 2012.  Lewin’s Orlando Rising premiered at Church Hill in 2017, Saint Georges Blues in 2016, Accidentally Wealthy in 2015, and then Visiting Sam in 2014. Hitched marks Lewin’s fifth annual production to be staged at Church Hill Theatre in as many years.  Lewin’s short script entitled Not Responsible was also featured in the Short Play Lab’s MidTown Festival in New York City in 2013.

Please plan to join Lewin and his accomplished cast and crew as they unfold a family tale of love and fear of love, marriage, and alimony! Performances will be held at Church Hill Theatre September 28, 29, and 30 and October 5, 6, and 7 (Friday/Saturday performances at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 pm). For information: call 410.556.6003 or visit the Church Hill Theatre website. All tickets are $15 (cash or check only) and may be picked up prior to the performance at the box office. Reservations are suggested. 

###

Meet the Author: Neal Jackson at the BookPlate

Share

Neal Jackson

Come meet photojournalist Neal Jackson Friday, Sept. 21, at the BookPlate, 112 Cross St., where he will discuss his new book, Market, with Marcie Dunn Ramsey. The talk begins at 6 p.m., and copies of the book will be available for purchase and to be signed by the author.

Public markets occupy a central role in every developed or developing nation in the world. They provide an avenue of economic entrepreneurship for large numbers of people, as the cost of entry is low and the marketing expense is minimal. They are often a critical source of household essentials food, clothing, cleaning supplies, even building materials and hardware. Finally, they provide employment for large numbers of people.

But beyond these economic functions, they perform a social purpose. People connect with their friends, exchange community information and gossip, and pass along political and social messages. At its core, however, it is the vendors who define the markets. Their personalities, interactions, goods, cries to customers and, yes, even the twinkle in their eyes, combine to create a market s atmosphere its soul.

Jackson set out on a worldwide odyssey to capture the personalities of these market vendors in portraiture. Via images taken on site in front of a portable backdrop, the sellers, their goods, and the market’s soul come visually alive. Have a seat and immerse yourself in the faces, clothes, and soul which each of the vendors brings to their particular market.

Jackson is a co-founder of Trauma Training for Journalists, a nonprofit volunteer organization providing safety and first aid training for hazardous environments to freelance journalists around the world. He has taught photojournalism at the International Center of Photography in New York City and around the world in the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop. Before going to law school at Georgetown University, he worked as a print reporter and editor. He served as chief legal officer of NPR from 1996-2008. He lives with his wife, Sandra Willett Jackson, in Queen Anne’s County.

For more information, call the BookPlate at 410-778-4167.

Andy Harris Receives NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award

Share

On Thursday, September 13, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) awarded Congressman Andy Harris (MD-01) with the NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award for the 115th Congress.

Jon Kurrle, Vice President of Federal Government Relations, awarded Congressman Harris with the NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award on behalf of the congressman’s “strong small business voting record in the 115th Congress” and his “support of small business and free enterprise.” The Congressman received the NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award three times previously during the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congressional Terms. This will be his fourth consecutive Congressional term receiving the award.

Congressman Harris issued the following statement upon receiving the award:

“I am honored to receive the NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award from the National Federation of Independent Business. The NFIB is a strong advocate for small businesses across America. Small businesses, entrepreneurs, and innovators are the backbone of our country and employ the majority of our workforce.  For many people, owning their own business is part of the American Dream.  I will continue to support efforts to reduce the tax and regulatory burdens faced by our small employers.”

Greater Chestertown Initiative Questions for County Commissioner Candidates: Public Transportation

Share

Editor’s Note: The Greater Chestertown Initiative worked this summer on a series of questions for the candidates running for one of three Kent County Commissioners to be elected in November. Over the next four weeks, the Spy will share the candidates responses to one of those questions every Monday.

Public Transportation

The United Way of Kent County recently prioritized transportation as a top need in the county. What ideas do you have to increase accessible and affordable transportation throughout the county?

How will you create public/private partnerships to address this issue?

How will you reach out to other rural jurisdictions to study their plans?

Ron Fithian 

I would say as far as transportation goes, we have what is called Delmarva Community Transit right now. It‘s a busing system that transports seniors and others around. It’s grant-funded by the federal, state and county government. Our contribution is roughly a hundred thousand dollars yearly. It’s not the best system by no means, and it doesn’t solve all of our problems. I think instead of trying to reinvent the wheel and start from scratch with something else we should bring them before us, discuss the shortfalls and see if we can’t build on what we already have in place. The expenses would be to large if we were to try and start from scratch. By doing this, we could build on it, and hopefully make it  much better than it is today. And I think we could. This system is supported by Kent, Caroline and Talbot Counties.

Bob Jacobs

Transportation in a Rural is America is and always will be a challenge. I am sure this matter has been studied by many millions of people around the world for centuries. The first thing we would need to do is determine what kind of public transportation we are talking about. There is transportation within the town which Rock Hall does with in the town in the summer which is paid for by the people of Rock Hall.

You can have public transportation between the towns perhaps using a bus. There could be transportation with destinations outside the county connecting say Middletown or Easton as examples. I would follow this up with a survey and a business plan to show the tax payers the cost. All public transportation is heavily subsidized by the tax payer. The tax payer of Kent County would have to decide on how much money they were willing to subsidize on this matter out of there pay check. Until then we can continue our partnership with DCT.

Tom Mason

Being able to travel is an important part of our lives. Kent County is a small county with limited resources and as such cannot provide a public transport system. We can continue to support the Delmarva Community Transit and look for an entrepreneur or private business that would start such a service. It is my belief that if there is a need and it makes sense from a business aspect, it will happen. Also as a commissioner, I would support such an effort and try to make sure there are no regulations or restrictions that stop such an endeavor.

William Pickrum

As County Commissioner, I will look to expand the existing bus system through subsidies, temporarily until a more substantial system is developed. The Maryland Upper Shore Transit has established routes that can be expanded in frequency and route structure without any increase in cost to riders.

Currently, the ride cost is $1.50 for senior citizens (60+ years), persons with disabilities and all Medicare Cardholders. This should be the universal fare, subsidized by the County for all Kent County residents, if necessary.

Delmarva Community Transit (DCT) has been the county’s public transportation partner for many years. Their system relies heavily on federal and state grants. In an attempt to expand service within the county, DCT has, in addition to the route to/from Chestertown, expanded to Rock Hall. Unfortunately, there were very few riders. They attempted routes to the Community Center in Worton from Chestertown and Rock Hall with virtually no ridership.

Because the attempts did not work at the time, does not mean they cannot work today or the future. I would suggest the appointment of a citizen’s commission to address these issues.

How will you create public /private partnerships to address this issue?

The public transportation systems must be subsidized.

Building on the survey conducted by the United Way, use federal, state and local dollars to create a local bus system.
Seek a partnership with County Ride of Queen Anne’s County to expand into Kent County. Once a county system is established, encourage the development of a terminus in Millington for the Delaware Transit Corporation (DART) to connect to their extensive system.
Conduct a more comprehensive transportation survey to include more diverse demographic.

How will you reach out to other rural jurisdictions to study their plans?

The County staff has been charged to study these issues. Using the resources of the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo), their staffs and NACo’s rural transportation committee may provide insight into establishing a transportation system in Kent. I currently serve as MACo’s First Vice President. If elected for another term as Commissioner, I will become the President of MACo and use my extensive knowledge and contacts with other Maryland counties to find the best possible solutions to our issues. This is the first time Kent County, the smallest county in the state, will hold the President’s position.

The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) is a non-profit and non-partisan organization that serves Maryland’s counties by articulating the needs of local government to the Maryland General Assembly. The Association’s membership consists of county elected officials and representatives from Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. MACo is the only organization serving the needs of county elected officials and governments across the state.

Representatives have attended our County Commissioner’s meetings and I’ve expressed with the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation need to develop a county public transportation system. Grant funds would require a substantial match of county funds, which I would support.

Bill Short

Mass transportation in a rural County such as Kent is a hard task. Kent County citizens currently have many options available to them for transportation, whether it be for medical needs or other reasons. A larger focus needs to be placed on reaching those in the community who need this service but who are not taking advantage of the current offerings. I have worked hard to continue to fund and support the Delmarva Community Transit Service and The Kent Family Center, both of which provide transportation. Within the County citizens also have Uber and other taxi services available to them, some of which are designated specifically for medical transportation and are covered by insurance. I will continue to work with Queen Anne’s County Transit to see if a partnership can be developed to further enhance transportation options for Kent County citizens. I also think a trolley system in the Chestertown area would be a great public private partnership that would benefit not only citizens but tourist and local businesses.

Tom Timberman

I researched the public transportation currently provided by Delmarva Community Transit Services and managed by Maryland Upper Shore Transit (MUST), and quickly learned why there is so much dissatisfaction.

The system is focused primarily on two population centers, Cambridge and Easton. Kent’s schedule is quite limited and is based on infrequent travel. In terms of going to work or appointments in Kent or another county or Chesapeake College, the schedules are too sparse. While each one-way ticket is reasonably priced ($3.00, $1.50 senior citizens and 2.00 for those 17 and under) the monthly passes are not ($80.00, $35.00 senior citizens and $40.00 students)

The county pays Community Services about $120,000/year. I believe this is a good niche local entrepreneurs could fill with a business plan focused on travel within Kent County, but with scheduled extensions to Centreville, Chesapeake College and Easton.
Non-emergency transportation to health appointments and treatments is another increasingly important aspect of Kent County’s health services deficit. Most specialists are in Centreville, Easton, Annapolis or Baltimore. While the County has a large and growing number of senior citizens, residents of all ages need physical therapy, drug rehabilitation, oncology treatment, dialysis or just a flu shot. One national statistic defines the seriousness of the problem: 1/3 of people with appointments don’t keep them because they have no way to get there.

There are two possible general transportation models that could be reviewed: The New York City “Dollar Vans” originally a private sector surge response 8-10 years ago, when the public transit system was shut down. Over time it evolved into a group of for- profit companies that continue to serve areas of New York, albeit no longer $1.00. They are less expensive than taxis or Uber or Lyft.
The second is an already proven technique for local communities with a common need or mutually beneficial joint public project, called Community-Co-ownership.

In one instance, several towns were experiencing problems shaping/regulating wind power turbine installations. Together the towns made an initial investment in the firm’s turbine-related costs and then shared in the profits from the sale of kilowatt hours. They negotiated the contractual terms together and were able to mould the exchange of obligations more to their benefit.

 

 

 

IMAGINE by Nancy Mugele

Share

Labor Day Weekend, made a day longer by the preceding Friday, my final summer holiday and Jim’s birthday, was a fabulous whirlwind four days of food, family,  friends and fun. Kelsy flew in from Nashville and Sara, her college roommate and one of her closest friends from Ocean City, joined us. Jenna drove over from the Western Shore, braving the holiday traffic, so that we could all enjoy a crab feast from Chester River Seafood. My friend Emily, who is an incredible baker, made the strawberry layer cake that marked the occasion of Jim’s birth, and we toasted with some treats from the Chester River Wine and Cheese Co. and Pip’s.

James could not make it back on a very busy fly fishing weekend in Montana but he called Jim for his birthday with a story that touched our hearts. A few days before James had taught an older gentleman named Walt how to cast a fly rod on land and then took him out on the water. The conditions on the river the day they ventured out were not great for a veteran angler, let alone a beginner. It was windy and the water was rough. Walt was having trouble maneuvering in the water and as James grabbed his arm to steady him, Walt informed James that he had stage four cancer and had just had chemo on his leg, so that was why he was having trouble with his footing. It was a bucket list item for Walt to catch a fish on a fly. His friends had told him that was one wish he would never achieve, because it takes years to learn to fly fish. Yet, with James at his side, the man was able to cast on his own, and he caught his very first fish on a fly – a beautiful rainbow trout. He hugged James after he caught his fish, and again as he released his fish, and they took several photographs. James knows that he will never see Walt again, but the interaction touched his heart forever.

Connections to family, friends, and sometimes strangers, give purpose and meaning to our lives, often in ways we can’t even imagine. On Sunday, my nephew Matt, his wife and their three young children, visited from Minnesota. They have a new baby daughter and it was my first time meeting her. I snagged the first cuddle after her afternoon nap and I am still smiling as I think about our visit. Our niece, Amanda, arrived from Boston and we celebrated the closeness of family and the gifts of love and friendship that we so dearly treasure. There was also a little of the old familiar button-pushing amongst cousins, yet it felt as magical as Christmas Eve (which is definitely another story).

As our festive holiday weekend drew to a close I began to prep for the opening of the academic year at Kent School. For me and my fellow educators, September is our January. So, Happy New Year! The promise of a new academic year brings clean slates, new challenges, resolutions – and all of the same excitement of January. September in schools is a time when anything, and everything, is possible.

I have always wondered why we sing Auld Lang Syne on New Year’s Eve. The Scottish song written by poet Robert Burns in 1788 means “times gone by.” With all due respect to my Scottish friends, I believe that at the very start of the New Year, or on the First Day of School, we should be singing about the times yet to come. This month at Kent School we will do both. The 2018 – 2019 academic year marks the 50th Anniversary of Kent School. We will gather on September 28 at an All School Convocation where we will honor our past, and the visionary individuals who built the solid foundation on which we stand today, as we also celebrate our bright future. 50 golden years is a huge milestone! I hope you will join us at some of our events!

Kent School is also my family. I thought about each and every student during Labor Day Weekend with fondness and was excited to welcome them back to school on Tuesday. It was a really wonderful week on our campus as friends reconnected and new relationships were forged. Kindness is at the heart of the Kent School experience past, present and future. This year we will continue our work with Character Counts!, Harvard University’s Making Caring Common initiative and also spend time learning about disability awareness with Changing Perspectives. Building empathetic and kind leaders is at the core of our mission and I am inspired each and every day by the work going on in our classrooms.

I have chosen the word IMAGINE as the theme for this academic year and our learning community will spend time to IMAGINE what Kent School can be in its next 50 years.  Pablo Picasso, the Spanish painter, sculptor, poet and playwright, said:

Everything you can IMAGINE is real.

Indeed.

Nancy Mugele is the Head of School at Kent School in Chestertown and a member of the Board of Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s.

Sumner Hall Offers “Seventeen Men” with First Friday Kickoff

Share

Sumner Hall is pleased to announce the official opening of the exhibition, Seventeen Men on Friday, September 7th at 7:00 pm. The public is invited to meet artist and genealogy enthusiast, Shayne Davidson who will speak about the story of Seventeen Men at 7:30 pm.

After she examined a locket-sized photo album of seventeen soldiers of the 25th Regiment, Company G of the USCT (United States Colored Troops), Shayne felt compelled to learn more about these individuals. She scoured countless documents – including census records, certificates of birth marriage and death – to construct family histories of the men; she then created life-sized colored portraits of each.

The exhibition will be installed at Sumner Hall through October 2018. In addition to regular museum hours, 11 am – 2 pm each Saturday, you may arrange to visit at other times by appointment. Contact info@sumnerhall.org for more information.