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Welcome from Head of Upper School

Spencer Reese, Head of Upper School

Dr. Spencer Reese

Greetings and felicitations!

Over this past summer, I found and reread an old copy of my favorite novel, The Man Who Was Thursday. At one of the most delightful (and somewhat frightening) moments in the novel, Gabriel Syme, the hero of the novel, is confronted with the realization that his journey has really been about finding the truth:

Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world? It is that we have only known the back of the world. We see everything from behind, and it looks brutal. That is not a tree, but the back of a tree. That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud. Cannot you see that everything is stooping and hiding a face? If we could only get round in front–” G.K. Chesterton

While it is true that so few of us can learn something of the truth by ourselves, from reality itself, as Thomas Aquinas once maintained, still the normal way, the best way is to learn the truth from someone who knows…our teachers, and we are so blessed to have those minds here at Seacrest.

This, however, is only part of what is essential, what is basic, to our school. We must also have the students. And with their return is a return of wonder, of curiosity, of willingness to be taught. It is in this latter point, the willingness to be taught, that I am reminded of something my mentor, Norman Thompson once quipped, “The student must first be teachable.” We are doubly blessed to have students who are, indeed, teachable.

And so we all return to the hallowed halls of Seacrest Country Day School excited and ready for a new year, a new beginning! Herein lies the opportunity to seek that which is good, true, and beautiful, to rediscover the joy of learning. We return to a place, like Gabriel Syme, where we can discover (or perhaps re-discover) the truth of things, to discuss that which is, that which neither student nor professor made, but each must discover in a community of learning that includes not just themselves, but those who have lived before them. With the very best of wishes for this year,

Dr. Spencer Reese (BA, MA, MLitt, PhD)
Head of Upper School
sreese@seacrest.org