I love the start of a new school year! It is invigorating and exciting for me. I remember as a child my excitement about the first day of school. I’d ask myself who was my new teacher? Who was going to be in my class? And of course, what was I going to wear? This remains true to this day, even as a Head of School. I have several friends who are transitioning to become Heads of School, some for the first time and some at new schools, and they are facing new beginnings with this same excitement and maybe even some fear. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
I stayed close to home this summer because I had several new administrators beginning their journey at Saint Andrew’s. I realize how important new beginnings are and wanted to make sure that I welcomed everyone properly, made them feel comfortable, and was available to answer any questions they might have. Their new beginning is just as important as the students’ start to the new school year. As leaders they are charged with mentoring and leading others.
God tells us often that He is creating newness in our universe. A new beginning is a fresh start—and an opportunity for growth. From the first day on the earth, God was the creator of all things. He is the ultimate creative Being and is always making us new and giving us new beginnings. It is our job to see it and to appreciate it and understand it. We should not be afraid of the new season that God puts before us. There is a quote that reads “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
One of the big projects on our campus this summer was the demolition of a house on an adjacent property that we now own. Tearing down that house will allow for a fresh start to create a new learning or community space. We now have possibilities to explore and a new project to begin. The excitement is in the prospect for something new. New beginnings are a way of life. There is a season for everything. Things begin and they end, usually at the appropriate time. I have learned to be less afraid and more open to the possibility of change. I see everyday as an opportunity to begin again. I pray that I do not focus on where I failed but always try to be the best version of myself. My hope for each of you is to embrace your new beginnings, concentrate on where you can make an effective lasting impression, and settle into the uneasiness of change.
Khadija A. Fredericks is Head of School at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School in Saratoga, CA.