GDS All-Staff Zoom Call

Daniel Stock

As Spring Break began last Friday, 200+ GDS staff members gathered via Zoom from our homes to hear from our Head of School Russell Shaw. He spoke from his living room table as his wife, Rabbi Stutman, married a couple on their front porch behind him. He spoke mostly of gratitude—from the leadership team, from parents—for their courage, creativity, and care in constructing (and testing) distance-learning plans within a week. The call ended with a few minutes of marvelous mayhem as all 200+ suddenly unmuted staff members called out to each other—to the babies asleep in shoulders, to the photobombing children and pets, and to friends they were missing already. On Monday, staff will gather by video again as we dive together into distance learning in earnest. Stay and stay Hopper Strong.

We’re in this #TogetherApart. During these heartbreaking, frightening times, we are asking you to be safe, patient, and resilient. This pandemic has become personal: we have community members on the front lines, our friends’ employment has been impacted, our families are more isolated, our partner communities are in greater need, and we are faced with greater uncertainty still. Make the safer choice not to put yourselves or others at risk or compromise the safety of those working in harm’s way. Be patient with family, friends, classmates, colleagues, and—not least of all—yourself. They, like you, have never done this before. Finally, find the strength within you to rise and lift others. Helen Keller wrote, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” (Optimism, 1903) Look for and be one of those resilient helpers Fred Rogers talked about.

You may also notice a few duplicates as people kept shifting locations on screen!

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