Home Port (Volume 6: Summer 2017)

Sturgis Soundings Magazine was launched in 2011 with the above sailboat logo. As I prepare to sail into retirement, we decided to feature the logo again. Happy sailing to all!  MW

Welcome aboard the 2017 summer voyage of Sturgis Soundings Magazine.

On deck, we see the tides turning – which inevitably results in a change of crew. Congratulations to the Class of 2017 for recently completing your four-year voyage and signing out at graduation. Meanwhile, the Class of 2021 is gearing up to sign the Sturgis ship’s log and come aboard at summer’s end. Such transitions are inevitable in schools; throughout their four years at Sturgis, students are encouraged to grow and learn how to navigate change and transition.

Summer also brings change in the faculty as teachers retire or move on to new adventures in international schools. Sturgis Trustee Arthur Pontes describes summer as “a bit of a space, an interregnum between what has ended and what will begin in the fall.” Summer provides time for reflection, a chance to look backward and forward.

As several of us prepared to retire this June, Paul Marble gave us one last writing assignment: an End of Tenure Reflection. The assignment essentially encouraged us to take time for “remembrance of things past.” So… I began to think back to my first visit to the corner of Main and Pearl and what has transpired since.

When I arrived at Sturgis in 2004, I didn’t realize I would be embarking on a 13-year adventure. I could never have foreseen that working for a fledgling charter school in a former furniture store would become the highlight of my career.

Being part of the grassroots effort and mission to provide a world-class “IB for All” education to students on Cape Cod has been an extraordinary experience. It was fascinating to see Sturgis transform from the chaotic, sometimes negative environment we first encountered in 2004 to the current positive environment Joel Tallman describes so well in the Global Learning Network video about Sturgis.

I agree with those who say Sturgis “IB for All” is a transformational experience. It’s been gratifying to observe the transformation of students from freshmen to seniors to alumni who are making a difference in their communities. Likewise for faculty as many of us have been given a chance to change and grow into new positions. After serving as a librarian for seven years, I was invited to become Sturgis Community Outreach Coordinator, a position that challenged me to learn new skills and provided a wonderful ringside seat for observing school culture.

Being part of the Sturgis community means having the opportunity to collaborate with creative, energetic and thoughtful colleagues on a wide variety of projects. Some highlights for me have been:

Working with Pamela Olson to expand library services including planning Extended Essay workshops with Pete Steedman and Sturgis Poetry Coffeehouses with Paul Marble.

Working with Gretchen Buntschuh to create the original Sturgis Soundings book review publication and collaborating with her daughters, Rachel and Patrick Todoroff, and Talin Bookbindery to create meaningful memorial tributes when Gretchen passed away in 2010: Talin Bookbindery Enhances Sturgis Traditions.

Being given a green light by Eric Hieser in 2011 to create a digital magazine and working with Katherine Spencer Joyce and others to create Sturgis Soundings Magazine.

Participating in the Sturgis West building committee and working with Architect Tamar Warburg of Studio G Architects to create a construction blog: Sturgis West – Breaking New Ground.

Documenting the down-to-the-wire opening of West Campus and helping coordinate the ribbon cutting ceremony in September – all in all quite nerve-wracking but exhilarating!

Sturgis West Ribbon Cutting
September 15, 2012

Collaborating with Eric Hieser, Susan Voigt, Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakki, Don Matteson and Paul Marble on the Tower grant: Supporting Inclusive Classrooms for Students Who Learn Differently

Working with Jonathan Peters (Class of 2017), Paul Marble, Eric Hieser, Chris Churchill and Will Mathews to write a grant and coordinate a Cape-wide event in October 2016: Identifying the Intersection of Athletics, LGBTQ Diversity and Anti-Bullying Rhetoric. It was great to see Sturgis take a leadership role by hosting an event to help inform Cape athletes and coaches about LGBTQ issues.

Collaborating with Eric Hieser, Paul Marble, Leslie Milsted and the Sturgis History Committee on the creation of Challenging Conventional Wisdom: The Evolution of Sturgis Charter Public School.

Working with Will Mathews to document the story of West by Southwest: Sturgis Navigates a Flood.

Creating a Timeline of the Life of Captain William Sturgis with Will Mathews, art teachers Xanthipi Abel, Pete Richenburg and art students Lily Bergeron, Caroline Dorfman, Thomas Harris, Juan David (Alex) Marquez-White, Alex Scott and Jennifer Smith.

It has been a great honor and privilege to be part of the Sturgis community for the past thirteen years. I cannot imagine working with a more capable, competent crew of creative faculty and students.

I am very pleased to leave Sturgis Community Outreach in the capable hands of Will Matthews who has shared the position with me this year. During an interview with him last spring, he asked me for a one-word description of the job. My answer: “storytelling.”

I want to thank all of you who have supported our efforts to tell the story of Sturgis by writing articles, and sending news, photos and videos our way. I hope you will continue to support Will in his efforts to provide a window into Sturgis life and culture. After all, the story of Sturgis is our collective story to tell.

Thanks for the memories.

Bon Voyage!

Marion Weeks

Former Editor


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