Welcome ASA Families and Friends to School Year 2020-2021 and ASA’s 25 Anniversary Year! We are so excited to reconnect with you after a long summer and jump into what will surely be a school year to remember.
This past Friday we celebrated one of my favorite ASA traditions. On the first day of school students, faculty and staff form two lines between the bandshell and the ASA Gate, join hands and welcome our seniors as they run between us for their final first day of school. We call it The Tunnel of Love and every year it brings tears to my eyes. I imagine what might be running through their minds (aside from longing to return to the air conditioned classroom) – nostalgia for years past, relief, excitement about FINALLY being a senior, anxiety about what is next or inspired anticipation? They may be remembering the first time they set foot on campus and about May when they will return through The Tunnel of Love – running out the ASA Gate for the last time and ringing the ASA Arcosanti Bell on the way to their next adventure.
Speaking of first days, in August of 1995, 25 Augusts ago, ASA opened its doors for the first time. Those of us who remember that first year remember the excitement, anxiety, inspired visions, and certainly plenty of fears about opening an experimental school concept under an untested charter school law in Arizona. We did not have even one tradition, we built them together over the years – with our families and students. We are still building new traditions that help us mark milestones, make meaning of our world, cause reflection, inspire celebration and connect us to our shared history. This year, our newly formed Parent and Family Engagement Council will be central to some new traditions and bring more families together. I hope you will get involved where you can!
This year, those of us who felt safe were appropriately masked and distanced as we invited our seniors to a “drive thru” Tunnel of Love. We celebrated the Class of 2021, reflected on our past and turned ourselves toward the future – keeping the beautiful traditions and values that are the best of who we are and building new pathways and traditions that elevate all voices.
Congratulations and happy final first day Class of 2021! Happy 25th Anniversary ASA!!
Head of School and CEO