Welcome aboard the Winter 2017 voyage of Sturgis Soundings Magazine.
Change is in the air. 2016-17 brings a time of transition for our country and our school as both experience changes in leadership. When former Executive Director Eric Hieser announced his plans for retirement two years ago, Sturgis had ample time to prepare a game plan for a smooth transition. After Paul Marble was selected as the new Executive Director in March 2015, Sturgis Trustees made sure he would have a full year to share an office and work side-by-side with Mr. Hieser before taking the helm in July 2016.
Emergencies do not allow time for gradual transitions. Such was the case on Saturday, December 10 when Mr. Marble received a call to inform him that a pipe had burst at Sturgis West and the school was flooded with 12,000 gallons of water. It became clear that temporary classroom space would have to be located immediately so that demolition crews could remove ruined floors and construction crews repair the damage.
Where can 400 students be quickly relocated without interrupting class time and transportation arrangements for students who travel to Sturgis from every town on the Cape and several towns off-Cape? It would be a challenge to sort out the puzzle of arrangements for such a move: insurance implications; demolition and reconstruction plans, etc.
Paul quickly sought a solution that would provide the least complicated and impactful plan for moving 400 students and 65 staff members as quickly and efficiently as possible. He found the answer a block away at the Resort and Conference Center in Hyannis.
From the beginning of the disaster it became clear that Sturgis West faculty and administrators could handle the challenge. They collaborated together to develop and execute a plan for moving the campus into new quarters. Thus, “Sturgis Southwest” became a new destination as well as a concept and school quickly reopened on Tuesday, December 12. The Sturgis approach of a positive, can-do attitude could be seen in faculty and students as they embraced the challenge with spirit and humor.
While taking photographs to document Southwest, we witnessed many examples of team building and positive problem solving. We began to wonder how the Sturgis community had managed to navigate the flood disaster and create a temporary campus so seamlessly.
We realized one answer could be found at the heart of International Baccalaureate (IB) philosophy and values that are taught through IB Learner Profile Traits. Mr. Marble, faculty and students exhibited several of the learner profile traits during the creation of Southwest. The following traits were especially helpful in sorting out and responding to the flood:
Risk-takers approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies.
Thinkers exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
Communicators work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
Open-minded -people are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of ideas, and are willing to grow from the experience.
Reflective – individuals give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.
To gain a wide range of perspectives on how the Sturgis community managed to navigate the flood, we interviewed representatives from Disaster Specialists, Hyannis Resort and Conference Center, Sturgis maintenance crew and West students and faculty. For interviews, photographs, a timeline and Southwest document resources, see: West by Southwest: Sturgis Navigates a Flood.
We have assembled an interesting cargo of additional articles, essays, news and photographs for the Winter 2017 voyage. Be sure to check out:
- Exploring Cape Cod and the Islands
- Fall Sports
- Gap Year: A Sturgis Grad Describes her Experience
- Identifying the Intersection of Athletics, LGBTQ Diversity and Anti- Bullying Rhetoric
- The Path of Abby Rhoads from the Tellow Breeches to Sturgis
- SailBoard: A Collaborative Community Art Project
- Sounds of the Season: Sturgis Winter Concerts 2016
- Sturgis InvenTeam Celebrates Momentous Milestones
- Welcome Aboard: A New Year Begins at Sturgis
- West by Southwest: Sturgis Navigates a Flood
- World Challenge Ecuador 2016
Thanks to our many contributors for their generosity. Like all ventures at Sturgis, Soundings is a collaborative effort. We invite you to participate. Send us your news and suggestions for future issues.
Marion Weeks and Will Mathews