Sofia Center Challenges Bosque School Faculty & Staff to ‘Dare Greatly’ During Orientation Week

“Love for Teachers” Tributes From Sofia Center Supporters
February 14, 2019

Sofia Center Challenges Bosque School Faculty & Staff to ‘Dare Greatly’ During Orientation Week

Bosque School Service Learning Coordinator Anna Rutins stands in front of a backdrop of Cottonwood trees holding a sign that reads, "I will dare greatly by choosing courage over comfort and modeling that for students."
A large group of Bosque faculty and staff sit on blankets and stand among cottonwood trees by the Rio Grande while listening in the morning light to place-conscious poetry and music.

The Sofia Center for Professional Development at Bosque School Designs and Leads Vibrant Faculty & Staff Orientation Week

To launch the year, Bosque faculty and staff spent an entire week together on campus with time for collective learning and inspiration, as well as planning for the arrival of all the Bobcats!  Rather than simply a week of back-to-back meetings, the Sofia Center for Professional Development at Bosque School designs the orientation week to have the feel of an interactive conference, with time for small-group discussion, essential team planning, whole-group vision and inspiration, and a bit of play!  This year’s orientation was framed and inspired by our collective summer reading, Dr. Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly.  We’re excited to invite you into the experience with us by sharing a few highlights of our productive and energizing week!  These included:

-A standing ovation to welcome our new head of school Dr. Jessie Barrie, as well as several inspired and framing sessions led by Dr. Barrie

Walk + Stories with our newest colleagues, sharing parts of our history, like how the Gerald and Betty Ford Library came to be, the origins of the gorgeous campus mosaics, why the gym entrance is called Firefighters’ Lobby, and where Sanchez Park got its name

-Our annual summer reading event where we discussed Dr. Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly and how her research can support and inform our work as educators

Bosque School visual arts teacher Al Na'ir Lara, social studies teacher J'Shon Lee, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ebony Booth, walk and talk on their way to a picnic breakfast by the Rio Grande. All three are carrying water bottle and wearing name tags.

-An early morning breakfast at the river, complete with place-conscious poetry and live music

-A powerful session on cultural climate and identity

-Moving lunchtime presentations that included summer news about Horizons, the National Capstone Summit led by a Bosque faculty member, a summer pilgrimage across Scotland supported by the prestigious Coffin Fellowship won by a Bosque teacher, and photos and music from Bosque students who traveled to Latvia this summer to perform at an international jazz festival

-A beautiful and moving tribute to Toni Morrison

-A board-led activity inviting input and ideas from faculty and staff that will support the strategic planning work ahead

-Optional afternoon pop-up sessions, from mindfulness to a mini-workout to training on the new Blackbaud platform

Planning sessions for every department, team, and division with a focus on creating a fantastic school year for every student

-A school safety session led by Dr. Barrie and an APD colleague

Bosque School's Krista Rashap and Nina Leacock, while smiling and laughing, hold up Brené Brown's Daring Greatly book and other inspiring orientation materials.

Daily reflection that invited the faculty and staff to consider what it means for us to dare greatly

-And much expressed gratitude for the many, many people who contributed to making the week an inspiring and productive one!

By noon on Friday, we were even more excited for the arrival of our students and filled with a sense of shared mission and purpose.  It was fitting that we wrapped up the week with an impromptu group dance to We’re All in This Together, led by Head of School Dr. Barrie!  Here’s to a fabulous year ahead!

Bosque School faculty and staff and one dog are shown walking on a trail through cottonwoods on their way to a picnic breakfast by the Rio Grande.

About 6 rows of smiling Bosque School faculty and staff are shown gathered on the steps of the Rod and Mary Kay Pera Science Center for a group photo.

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