Home Port (Volume 3: Summer 2014)

Nicaragua 1 (1)

Sturgis students on World Challenge hike to the top of
Nicaragua’s Momotombo Volcano to watch the sunrise

Welcome aboard the summer voyage of Soundings.  While watching the tides turn, we wish our colleagues and the Class of 2014 well on their new adventures. Graduation 2014 was a significant event in Sturgis history. It marked the first graduations of East and West campuses back to back at Hyannis Harbor. The two ceremonies were separate but equal in symbolism and impact. Both displayed a wealth of camaraderie between students, faculty, trustees and extended families.

Several West graduation speeches described how overcoming the hardships and challenges of creating a second campus became quite an adventure for everyone involved. Replicating Sturgis was no easy feat. It required a demanding level of planning, collaboration, problem solving,  work and trust by trustees, administrators, faculty, students, families, architects and construction crews. From groundbreaking in December 2011 until the first day of class in August 2012, construction of the new campus was completed in eight months with crews working around the clock during the summer.   (To see how the building took shape from start to finish, check out the construction blog: Sturgis West: Breaking New Ground.)

Finding temporary classroom space for 200 students during the construction of the new building was yet another challenge.  MacKenzie Michaud describes her reaction on the first day: “We all took a risk coming here in our sophomore year, starting off as the first class of the new Sturgis.  I was shocked as I first walked into our “new” school Sturgis West to discover that it was an “old” furniture store.”

Starting schools in old furniture stores is the tradition at Sturgis. Eric Hieser says “buildings don’t make schools, people make schools.” The temporary building was lacking in many ways: poor heating and cooling, very few (4?) windows, cramped spaces…but somehow the humble building helped build character. Abi Goldman says, “Each of us came to Sturgis with a similar storm in the pit of our stomachs.  With the guidance from our teachers and the aid from our peers, we navigated the storm and acquired skills that have prepared us for life’s conundrums.  The fact that we are sitting here today is proof that each of us has grit and that success will not elude us.”

When I saw the photo featured above of our students celebrating with a group jump at the top Monomoto Volcano during sunrise, my first reaction was surprise. You do not often see such energy displayed by teenagers at sunrise!  After further reflection, I believe the photo captures the joy and spirit of a diverse group of people who have conquered a challenge together. That same sense of accomplishment and joy was palpable in the air at East and West Graduations. Altogether, we had a tough trail to follow with steep hills to climb…and we did it together. Congratulations one and all!

As Sturgis Soundings Magazine sails into summer, we have assembled an interesting cargo of articles, essays, news and photographs for the voyage. 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.

Bon Voyage!

Marion Weeks


Cornish Lugger built 1904 by Pearce, Richard, East Looe

Happy Sailing!

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