I will do what I can, with what I have, where I am. (Theodore Roosevelt)
I will start where I am. Use what I have. Do what I can. (Arthur Ashe)
Lawrence Lions, welcome to the new school year!
The last few weeks at Lawrence have filled me with awe and wonder. As I walk the halls greeting students and teachers, I can feel the buzz and vibration coming from each classroom. It never gets old to witness the heart of the school beating, the spirit of the place soaring, boundaries and limitations giving way as each of our students pushes their envelope and faces the challenges of the moment in the classroom, in clubs and activities or on the fields and courts of athletic competition.
Just this past week we hosted a tailgate celebration, a cross-country invitational track meet, and volleyball, soccer and golf matches. Our home games brought crowds of cheering Lion families to our campus. Our students threw themselves body and spirit into each of these activities and at the same time rooted for and encouraged one another.
They were confident as they met the challenges of team competition, reliant on themselves and each other as they pushed past doubts and personal bests, joyful despite exhaustion and pain, and sustained and buoyed by the support of teachers, coaches, friends and family in the stands and on the sidelines.
These events and contests are microcosms of the larger school experience for our students— a crucible in which our students find the presence and power of their own spirit, grit and determination. In these settings they measure and apply what they have learned and practiced with peers and coaches in an authentic and personally meaningful way.
Make no mistake: this is self-efficacy in action!
This is learning and engagement of the most significant and meaningful kind. I call it agency and Lawrence aspires to infuse it in the hearts and minds of each one of our students. Students need to be seen, heard, understood, and embraced as learners and as individuals.
Lawrence appropriately challenges and sufficiently supports our students to achieve and grow as individuals through the activities and initiatives that matter to them in the moment as students. In turn, they can participate and affiliate as engaged members of the community in ways that will sustain them beyond the borders of our campuses and their days as students.
Once a student experiences their own efficacy and their own agency, they become lion-hearted advocates for themselves, for each other, and for their school community. See this agency in action and witness the power of the Pride of Lions on our website, social media and campus!
Welcome to the Pride of Lions and a new school year at Lawrence School!
Lou Salza is the Head of School at Lawrence School in Northeast Ohio. He currently serves as a trustee for the Ohio Association of Independent Schools and as past president of the Cleveland Council of Independent Schools. Prior to joining Lawrence School in July of 2007, Lou served for 11 years as Head of School for ASSETS School for Gifted, Dyslexic and Gifted-Dyslexic students in Honolulu. For eight years prior to that, Lou was the Assistant Principal of the Hamilton Wenham Regional High School. He also served in various positions over 13 years at Landmark School in Beverly Massachusetts. He can be contacted at email@example.com.