I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the Director of Student Affairs at Oak Hill Academy, and welcome you to our community. The past few days have been a blur here on campus as we help the students settle in to a new environment for the summer school session.
As the Director of Student Affairs, I wanted to speak directly to the residential side of life here at Oak Hill. For many students, learning how to adjust to a new setting takes time, and comes with plenty of challenges – getting used to not having cell phones, limited internet access, bedtime curfews, quiet time and academic time, dealing with a roommate, figuring out where to sit at lunch, who to hang out with in the afternoons, how to do laundry, and on and on and on. We believe that while these are often hard things, they are good things. They set Oak Hill apart as a refuge in the midst of a chaotic adolescent world. We strongly believe that the routines, the systems, the structures that Oak Hill provides – these things work.
Even in a five-week summer school session, there will be speedbumps, and you may already be hearing about those from your son or daughter. It is normal to be homesick, to struggle with focus, to wish that they were back at home in these summer months, even though they know Oak Hill is the best place for them right now. We want you to know that we acknowledge the sacrifice you all have made to send your child here, and we take that responsibility very seriously. If you have concerns or questions, please let us know. We also ask that you trust us, and trust that we have been working with students for a long time.
Of course, life at Oak Hill is not all hard and full of structure. I have enjoyed spending my afternoons with students swimming down at the lake, playing volleyball and basketball in the gym, and board games in the cafeteria. This afternoon we plan on taking a hike in nearby Grayson Highlands State Park.
Oak Hill is a special place, a challenging place, and our mission is for it to be a place of new beginnings, new opportunities, and a turning point. Welcome to Summer School 2018, and please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions, concerns, or just want to hear how your son or daughter is doing. One week is almost over, and time is already flying by!
Director of Student Affairs