I am thrilled to spend the 2021-2022 school year continuing to serve as President of the St. John’s Alumni Board. After an unforgettable year that will be etched into our memory bank forever, I am comforted by the perseverance and strength of the SJS community. While we know there will be challenges in the year ahead, I am confident that, if necessary, our school will once again be able to appropriately and judiciously prioritize the well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. With great consideration by the leadership, some normalcy has returned this school year. As a current SJS parent, I have witnessed first-hand the positive, cheerful buzz around campus. As a proud SJS alum, I am looking forward to convening for many of our traditional gatherings. As a member of the SJS Alumni Board, I am eager to further our goal of enhancing engagement between the School and its graduates.
With anything new comes the chance to regroup and adjust, the ability to improve and grow and the opportunity for a fresh start. This year, we warmly welcome our new Head of School, Dan Alig, who began his teaching career more than 20 years ago at St. John’s. Mr. Alig spent 13 invaluable years on the storied grounds of SJS, developing a deep appreciation of the School’s values and a thorough understanding of its mission. One tenet of this mission is “seek[ing] to develop the whole person in preparation for a lifetime of personal fulfillment and contribution to society.” With each new school year, the students’ academic challenges increase, staff and leadership enhance aspects of campus daily life, and the alumni community eagerly embraces a new class into its ranks – all guided by the purpose of preparing oneself for a lifetime of fulfillment and contribution to society.
As I reflect back on my days on campus, I am reminded of how I began my SJS journey as a nervous young student bound in a plaid jumper, a giant hairbow on my head, and an oversized backpack weighing me down. By my final year, I felt as though I had evolved into an educated young adult, still bound in a plaid uniform skirt, fully equipped to take on the next chapter of my life. I attribute much of my humble successes – and ability to overcome my failures – to my SJS experience. The focus on critical thinking, efficient study habits, leadership skills, self-care, respect for others, and humility are all aspects of what makes an SJS education uniquely capable of providing for the development of a student’s whole self. With each new school year, I looked forward to a new beginning of cracking open fresh school supplies, embarking on greater academic challenges, engaging in the latest extracurricular offerings, and enhancing personal relationships, all of which contributed to my whole self-development.
Today, I am humbled that my St. John’s journey has led me to serve on the Alumni Board. In the spirit of connectivity with and support for our alumni community, I would like to highlight a few new Board features and programs in progress:
- Alumni Board Ad Hoc Members Last year, we tested the concept of adding a few ad hoc members to select Alumni Board committees. This experiment proved successful, and the Board has increased ad hoc committee involvement this year. The Board was pleased with the added insight and proactive dedication from these new members. We also view this as an additional way for alumni to get involved and better understand the inner workings of the Alumni Board.
- St. John’s Network: We continue to refine and update both the layout and the content shared on The St. John's Network (SJN), your go-to networking platform to connect with fellow SJS alumni. We are pleased to announce the arrival of the SJN mobile app, providing accessibility at your fingertips on-the-go. To learn how to download the app, check out the resources section of the SJN website by visiting sjs.peoplegrove.com. We are also excited to announce that this fall, we will begin housing our Student Internship Program on the SJN. Not only will this help streamline the application and matching process between SJS Upper School students and alumni volunteers, but it will also allow current students to tap into the resources and the community that will continue to support them after graduation.
- Reunion Weekend We are hopeful and excited to host Reunion Weekend this coming spring. Unfortunately, the pandemic prevented us from hosting our flagship alumni event for the past two years. This coming April, we look forward to celebrating three years of milestone classes, as well as honoring both our 2020 and 2022 Alumni Award winners. If you would like to nominate someone for a 2022 Alumni Award, please visit the Alumni website and submit your nomination by November 1. Be sure to revisit the website and follow our alumni social pages for more Reunion Weekend information and details.
I would like to emphasize one last critical Alumni Board initiative: the St. John’s Fund. Your continued support provides our alma mater with agility and opportunity for new beginnings and growth. I encourage you to participate at any level that is meaningful to you. As you may know, we engage in amiable competition between class years, and I am confident your Class Reps would welcome your involvement.
We are off to a new school year. Students have fresh pencils, pristine notebooks, and the excitement of new teachers and classmates. Faculty and staff embrace perseverance and hope for a positive year ahead. The alumni group supports one another with connectivity and care. And as one St. John’s community, we come together to foster an environment with the mission of developing the whole person. Please join me on this inspiring Maverick journey.
Lacey Fluor Goossen ’02
20-21 Alumni Board President