August 16 marked the first day of school, and faculty and staff were excited to see Saint Mary’s Hall (SMH) students return to campus and kick off the 2021-2022 school year. The day was filled with joyful reunions, full backpacks, and the promise of an exciting yearlong journey. Students returned to campus bright and early, and settled in with their new teachers and classmates. Based on the energy students showed as they arrived for their first day, it is sure to be a year of countless opportunities for fun and learning for students and faculty.
Please take a moment to enjoy photos from our first day.
On August 18, SMH hosted the annual opening Convocation and officially welcomed the entire Saint Mary’s Hall community back to school. Interim Chaplain Frederick Brock gave the opening invocation while student Augie C. '29 led the community in the Pledge of Allegiance and Texas Pledge. Head of School Len Miller and Board of Trustees Chair Rick Reyna both shared words of inspiration during the ceremony.
Addressing the students, Miller said, "Every single one of you belongs here. It's going to be a great year. Thank you for being here and all you bring to the learning and growth of us all."
"We hope you laugh and smile a bunch. We hope you make new friends and reconnect with old friends," said Reyna. "And, we hope that you sense this year, perhaps more than any other, that we genuinely care about you."
As is tradition, speakers from Form 5, Form 8, and Form 12, speak to the SMH community, particularly addressing the senior class. Head of Lower School Khristi Bates, Assistant Head of Middle School Mike Mayberry, and Head of Upper School Liz Stockdale introduced the class representatives from their respective division. The student speakers included Talia R.'29, Mazreen S. '26, and Lance B. '22.
"What a blessing it is to be holding our Convocation Ceremony in person this year. To see Lower, Middle, and Upper School all together, brings back warm memories of years past and gives me an exciting feeling about the coming year," said senior Lance B., reflecting on his journey as an SMH student. "Thank you to the faculty, the staff, the students, those who work behind the scenes, the maintenance crew, and all the countless others who make this school what it is. Thank you for making us all better and giving us a path to follow towards success."
Reminiscing about her mentors and classmates, Mazreen S. said, "Know that each of you have had a very positive chapter in my book. The essence of who I am has been built throughout my 11 years here from the people surrounding me."
"During dark times there is always light," shared Talia R. "We need to remember to find the positives in our experiences. Difficult experiences are made easier with our community working together."
In addition, as a new school year begins, SMH is proud to share more information on new and very talented faculty and staff members for the 2021-2022 school year. This group of skilled educators represents an important addition to the School and will make a tremendous impact on the student experience and the life of our community. View Saint Mary’s Hall Welcomes New Faculty & Staff 2021-2022 Academic Year for more information.
The commitment, partnership, and dedication SMH parents, faculty, staff, Board of Trustees, and administration share will ensure students experience a safe and successful school year. 2021-2022 is sure to be blessed with growth, inspired teaching and learning, curiosity, confidence building, collaboration, and care as we continue to build deep connections across the school and community. Welcome back Barons!