A new school year officially began with the Browning community gathered in Christ Church for Opening Assembly on September 6. Head of School John Botti welcomed everyone and harkened back to his days as a classroom teacher when he routinely asked his students if, as a superhero, they would rather be invisible or able to fly. Elaborating on the analogy, Mr. Botti urged all the boys to consider Browning a place where they might use their own special talents and “superpowers” to the utmost.
Next, Student Government President Ekene Duruaku ’18 greeted community members, echoing Mr. Botti’s remarks by imploring fellow students to expand their horizons and tackle challenges.
Division Heads Laurie Gruhn (Lower), Sam Keany (Middle) and Jim Reynolds (Upper) also spoke. Ms. Gruhn emphasized the importance of words, as well as actions, advising the boys to act with kindness, honesty, curiosity and courage in the months to come. Mr. Keany spoke of the importance of the summer months as a time to recharge, suggesting that when the school year becomes overwhelming, the calmness of summer might be recalled and reflected upon. Mr. Reynolds reminded the community of Browning’s Mission and Diversity Statements, as well as the messages in this year’s Common Book, “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.” Essentially, he hopes the boys will be open to new ideas and use the skills and values they learn at Browning to improve the world at large.
As is tradition, Director of College Guidance Sandy Pelz asked all Form VI boys to come forward and introduce themselves, followed by another favorite at Opening Assembly, namely, the appearance of the Panther mascot. Much to everyone’s amusement, Mr. Botti and the Panther greeted one another with a belly bump. Finally, Middle and Upper School music teacher Richard Symons, along with a talented group of faculty vocalists, led the community in singing the School Song. So welcome, everyone, and good luck as we embark on another exciting year of learning and growing at Browning!