September 29, 2015
Dear Families, Friends, and Alumni,
When our entire student body came together on the Steiner Campus fields for the opening day ceremony of Convocation, I was once again reminded of the school’s responsibility to remain committed to our founders’ deep roots in ethical education. There are many things that make Rowland Hall special, but our mission to graduate good citizens has been central to our purpose since the Episcopal Church founded our school nearly 150 years ago. (You can view a video about this year’s Convocation and the inspirational messages shared that morning by visiting this link.)
While we continue to explore with Bishop Scott Hayashi how the unique, shared history of Rowland Hall and Utah’s Episcopal Church will guide us in future years, we have also taken a bold step and hired Rowland Hall’s very first director of ethical education. This position was previously known by the title of director of service learning, and we believe the new, broader title and the expanded scope of the job reinforce our ongoing commitment to ethical learning. Ryan Hoglund, who served as Upper School assistant principal for many years, has been serving in this new capacity since July, and he is already bringing energy, creativity, compassion, and thoughtfulness to this important, all-school position.
In his new role, Ryan guides the chapel program, which was overseen last year in the Lower School by Emotional Support Counselor Chuck White and Assistant Principal Linda Tatomer. Lower School students attend chapel twice each month, and they enjoy a chapel curriculum that includes lessons in kindness, inclusion, compassion, and the world’s religious traditions and holidays. We were also truly fortunate last year that our choral teacher Jeremy Innis stepped in to guide chapel programs on the Lincoln Street Campus. Jeremy brought his masters in divinity from Harvard University to the task of developing meaningful and contemporary chapel sessions for both divisions, and will continue to do so this year.
In addition to helping Jeremy, Chuck, and Linda with chapel curriculum, Ryan is also working with principals and teachers on refining their service learning goals. He will be in charge of all-school service projects such as the Crossroads Urban Center Christmas Dinner Giveaway and divisional service days. Having this ethical education director position in place furthers our endeavors to raise awareness around issues of diversity and environmental sustainability.
Though the school is an independent school now, I believe the Episcopal Church would be proud of the Rowland Hall they established as it has blossomed into a community that values and promotes character. With the departure of our chaplain a year ago, the church and the school began talking in earnest about the role of that position here in the context of our historical relationship with the church. In the meantime, we are confident that our chapel program remains strong and that the thoughtful discussions between Rowland Hall and the Episcopal Diocese of Utah will result in decisions that continue to enrich the ethical development of our students.
We’re happy to have you as part of our school community and wish you a wonderful year.