On March 15, when we first entered into shelter-in-place at San Domenico and many of our boarding students began to return home for what we thought would only be a few weeks, we could not have known that we wouldn’t see each other again for five months or more. We could not have anticipated what lay ahead for any of us or how much we would grow individually and collectively as a result.
Over the days, weeks, and months that followed, many of our boarders who remained trickled home one or two at a time until we were left with a core group of 14 students, most of whom would remain throughout the summer - for the first time in San Domenico’s history! While we had to stay on campus and our options were limited, with a little ingenuity and a lot of grilling, we managed to create a safe and fun environment for our students and Resident Faculty families.
Together we celebrated birthdays, roasted bags and bags of marshmallows for s’mores, watched movies in Mercedes, went for “fundatory” hikes, played field games, swam in the pool, enjoyed special menu bi-weekly dinners in the Garden of Hope; and once cleared, even went for a few trips to Red Hill.
Resident Faculty Chad Sigler kept us informed and interested in local wildlife by sending us emails with nature facts about campus wildlife, hawks, redwoods, bobcats, and more. Chad also took students on nature walks on and around campus, celebrating and cooling off afterward with smoothies in the Garden (below).
Master grillers Kristian Noden and Mark Churchill grilled endless sausages, hot dogs, and chicken skewers. Mike Fulton helped to keep the weight room and gym in daily use. Alexis Gerlach made milkshakes in Mercedes. I baked cookies with students and helped them with their summer assignments. Julie Lanzarin kept us organized and led field games on Kesterson that were so fun, several students noted them as the highlights of their summers. Mary Churchill took students for hikes, Alexis taught our students charades, and Mr. B kept everyone entertained and having fun throughout it all.
The summer has rolled by as we settled into new routines, creating our own cocoon of safety and connection on campus, getting to know each other well, and learning to live together within our new, smaller community. As one Resident Faculty put it, “We will never forget this unique summer that we all spent together and the fun times we shared.”
-Sonya Evans, Resident Faculty and Upper School English Teacher