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A Message from Steve Hancock: Fall/Winter 2023-24

A Message from Steve Hancock: Fall/Winter 2023-24

Over the winter break, my family and I took a road trip to Richmond, Virginia, where Stephanie’s family resides. The 15-hour adventure was spread over two days on the way to our vacation, and we decided to condense the return trip into one very long day. I have never been one for long road trips. Yet, my family loves the time in the car. We spent the time listening to an audio book (this year, we heard “One by One” by Ruth Ware), having deep discussions, and playing a fair amount of MarioKart on the Nintendo Switch. Over the years, they have helped me see that the journey is an important part of the destination.

The process vs. product debate has been one that has permeated educational discussions for many decades. Add the concept of content, and we have a triangle of learning that is important for educators to understand and adjust to meet the needs of learners. This issue of USM Today highlights both the process and the product of our student’s education.

Our dining program is featured beginning on page 10. Here, you will see the “process” of preparing for and serving lunch to our students. The “product” is a nutritional and tasty lunch that excites them and exposes them to new foods and flavors. The “content” is the incredible learning that happens in our dining halls. Taking on responsibility, conversing with friends and adults, trying new foods, and focusing on the Common Trust are all skills our students learn and master daily in our dining halls.

As a school, this year we are working to define what it means to be a leader at USM. Our strategic plan compels us to do this work, but USM’s mission is certainly the catalyst. The journey our students take at USM, many of them for 15 years, leads to the creation of learners, leaders, and citizens. We are working to be intentional about those important aspects of our educational obligation. You can read more about this important work.

“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey” is a quote famously attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American philosopher. Enjoying the journey, “the getting there,” is an important lesson for us all to remember.

The Triangle of Learning

Content—the knowledge and skills students need to master
Process—the activities students use to master the content
Product—the method students use to demonstrate learning

Steve Hancock signature.
  • Head of School