It is an honor to serve as President of the St. John's Alumni Board for the 2020-2021 school year. I have thoroughly enjoyed my two previous terms on the Board and witnessing its evolution over the years. I am a proud alum, who is eager to play a role in fulfilling the overarching goal of the Alumni Board: enhancing engagement between SJS and its graduates. This year, as we focus on keeping ourselves and our families healthy, it is imperative that the SJS alumni community remains a strong resource for connection and support for all of us. As a Board, we will strive to carry out our efforts of engaging SJS alumni through creative new methods developed in response to the unique challenges of the day.
Recently, I was perusing the St. John's website when the following sentence caught my attention: "Care is the School's cardinal value . . . The St. John's School Community is sustained by caring relationships in which members extend themselves for others, with compassion, courtesy, kindness and respect." While this has been a central pillar of the school since its founding in 1946, it seems to ring true more than ever in our world at present.
As I reflect on my time as a student, I am filled with wonderful memories of the care shown to me by the faculty. One of the first thoughts that comes to mind is the care that Coach Angie Kensinger modeled for her girls' lacrosse teams. She cared for each one of us deeply and, in turn, we cared for her. She inspired us and instilled in us the importance of treating one another with respect on and off the field. It is only fitting that Coach K. was honored with the 2020 Honorary Alumna Award. While the pandemic prevented us from holding Reunion Weekend this past spring, the Alumni Board's flagship event, we will ensure the four Alumni Award recipients are recognized, celebrated and remembered throughout the 2020-2021 school year.
I recently had the pleasure of addressing the Class of 2020, welcoming them into the alumni community following their graduation from St. John's. This accomplishment, persevering through an unprecedented senior year, stands as a testament to both the academic excellence Mavericks are known for and the care demonstrated by both the administration and faculty in quickly pivoting toward remote learning and reimagined social gatherings. During the upcoming year, certainly we will all find ourselves similarly adjusting and adapting as the pandemic continues to impact our lives.
The Alumni Board is committed to connective programming and will continue to pursue opportunities to strengthen our alumni association, while being mindful of our community's health and safety. Below are just a few alumni sponsored initiatives I would like to highlight:
- Student Internship Program: Rising seniors are acquainted with real-world work environments by pairing them with an alum host according to their field of interest. Despite COVID, this year we were still able to place more than 60 students in internships. If possible, I highly encourage each of you to volunteer to host one of these impressive students. If you are interested, please contact Laura Schneidau, Alumni Engagement Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- St. John's Network: Launched in 2017, this private networking platform exclusive to SJS alumni allows users to connect socially and professionally through job postings, messaging and interest groups. It is active and exciting, and you don't want to miss out! Please join us at sjs.peoplegrove.com.
- Community and Inclusion Committee: We are currently forming a new Alumni Board committee focused on the critical topics of community and inclusion. The purpose of this committee is to support the school's Strategic Plan for Community and Inclusion by actively seeking ways to engage all members of the Alumni Association, respecting differences in ability, age, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and thought. I am confident that with the character and commitment of the Mavericks chosen to participate in this new endeavor there will be positive developments to report soon.
I would like to put a spotlight on one last Alumni Board initiative: alumni giving to the St. John's Fund. Your ongoing support of the Fund benefits all facets of the school including faculty salaries, professional development, financial aid, technology, the arts, and even alumni programming. We encourage annual participation at any level that is meaningful to you. During this time, our SJS leadership, faculty, staff, and students have to remain innovative and nimble which undoubtedly requires additional capital from the St. John's Fund. Please join me by contributing during this vital time.
In closing, I am equal parts excited and anxious to see how this year will unfold. However, I trust that St. John's alumni will support one another with care and compassion. On behalf of the Alumni Board, our commitment to you is to fulfill our goal of connectivity and engagement during these extraordinary times. As always, we invite your feedback and ideas. Together, we can conquer this school year with Maverick spirit!
Lacey Fluor Goossen ’02
20-21 Alumni Board President