Soon after the academic year kicked off with remote classes, the Parents’ Association (PA) hosted a special start-of-school car parade for local St. Stephen’s families, boarding students, and school faculty and staff. The event injected a boost of Spartan Spirit into the campus community.
PA President Ellen Miura and President-Elect Mandy Borer organized the special event. “The school year usually starts with the club fair and advisory meetings for students and the back-to-school event for parents,” Borer noted. “My first back-to-school event as a parent made me so excited to have my kids at St. Stephen's and be part of the community. Not being able to host those events in person, we wanted to do something to welcome the school community back to campus and show the new families the spirit that we have.”
Borer estimated that a majority of Middle School and approximately half of Upper School families attended the car parade. Boarding students were encouraged to participate, and many joined in the fun with their dorm parents in golf carts.
The event exceeded everyone’s expectations. “The first car that drove up for the parade was decorated, and the family’s 6th grader was standing up through the sun roof,” she said. “The mom had tears of excitement in her eyes as they drove through. Families put a lot of effort into decorating their cars and were so excited to be back on The Hill.
“Seeing the faculty and staff so excited to welcome the students back on campus reminded me of why we are at St. Stephen's,” she continued. “It was one of the hottest days of the year and the first Friday of the school year, yet they were out there cheering and dancing!
Although everyone remained physically distanced during the festivities, the PA coordinated a number of give-away stops for students and employees, including “Together” t-shirts, tasty snacks, Spartan door signs and gift cups with the school logo. Thanks go to the St. Stephen’s board of trustees, school administrators and the PA for providing the fun memorabilia and treats. In addition to Miura and Borer, special thanks go to PA volunteers Nancy Gunnin, Kate Romm, Joan Swartz, Annie Wilkerson and Melinda Young, as well as staff member Cathy Crane for their great work planning all aspects of the afternoon event.
“Being able to safely parade through the school grounds gave the students a sense of connection to the community and the campus,” Borer concluded. “It really was an important reminder of the enthusiasm and love that everyone has for St. Stephen's.”