Welcome to a New Year!

Piles of shoes, rolled up posters, new notebooks, old notebooks, crumpled shirts, lax sticks, broken swimming goggles, books, more books (when will everything be on iPads?), athletic shorts that are too short, and unopened boxes with leftover laundry from June are just some of the things strewn around our house as we prepare to take our senior daughter and freshman son to Deerfield.

January 1 the start of a new year? No way. Mid-September is the start of the year for us parents of students away at school. The weeks leading up to early September are similar to the December holidays–plenty of preparation, drama, and craziness (four trips to CVS?) The good news is the kids are very excited to be off to DA. The even better news is the kids will be settled in at DA by September 6.

September is the start of the year for the Academy. You can be assured that Margarita Curtis and her staff have been working hard throughout the summer preparing for the students’ arrival. September is also the start of the DPN’s third full year of existence. What started in 2010 as an idea to improve the Deerfield experience for the students and their families has evolved into an organization that includes all DA parents, a Steering Committee, a set of by-laws, a number of successful initiatives, and a commitment to build communication among the entire community.

As the new DPN President, I must begin by thanking my predecessors. Linda Whitton, parent of four DA girls and Trustee, saw the need for this organization and led us through its birth and infancy. As its first President, she was responsible for gaining the commitment of the Board and Head of School to assure its strength and credibility. Jim Alexandre, parent of four DA grads and our second President, was also part of the founding group and was instrumental in further defining our mission and expanding our initiatives. Thank you both for your dedication and hard work.

The new year also brings change to our Executive Committee. Departed VPs Kelly Pasciucco (Community Outreach), Phyllis Powers Philie (Campus Events), and Kate Upson (Communications) have graduated with their kids and handed over to their freshment full responsibility of packing for college. They have been with us from the beginning, and they have defined their roles and set a high standard of accomplishment.

Please welcome our newest Executive Committee members. Betsy Swindell takes over as VP of Communications with the heavy responsibility of publishing three issues of The Link during the school year. With eight to ten articles per issue, she needs help from all those able and ready to write. The fact that you are reading this means she is successfully on her way to a great year with this valuable resource. Louise York is our new VP of Campus Events. Brimming with new ideas, she is working to bring a farmers’ market to campus during Fall Parents Weekend. This initiative not only supports local farmers and artisans but should give us parents a great activity to share with the kids.

Among those continuing their VP responsibilities is Penny Ashford, VP First Link. Those of you with students who started over the last two years will know her as the master behind placing new parents with current parents for all forms of advice and counsel. Penny will work with Missy DeCamp this year. Karen Wood continues as VP of Nominating and is the person to talk to should you, or someone you know, be interested in joining our Steering Committee or helping with our initiatives. Scott Vallar starts his third year as VP Fundraising Liaison and provides the important bridge between the DPN and the Development Office. Please let him know if you are interested in helping with our Annual Parent Fund.

The DPN is an organization of parents, for parents. It is an important source for improving the Deerfield experience for students and their families. It is also a great opportunity for parents to become more involved with the school. Please contact me at marcvjohnson@gmail.com or one of the VPs above to get involved. We welcome all assistance. And no, you don’t need to be a parent of four current or past DA students. Have a great New Year!

2013 Annual Fund Update | Important Information About DA’s New Laundry Machines

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