From The Ridge - The McCallie Blog

Ladybugs: Valedictory Address

Posted by Student Contributor on May 18, 2015


By Wes Brown
McCallie School 2015 Co-Valedictorian 

I am deathly afraid of ladybugs.

Trust me that I am not making up this confession simply for shock value. Rather, it is truly a crippling fear of mine, something that freezes my blood cold and causes intense nervous sweating whenever I run across one of the cursed insects. I can quite easily trace the roots of this fear back about a decade ago to a horrifying week that my family and I spent in a mountain cabin one summer. The house in which we were staying was long overdue for a visit by the exterminator, and had therefore become the world’s premier breeding ground for the little red and black devils.

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Topics: Campus Life, class of 2015, Featured, First Person, friendship, parents, Posts from the Ridge, The Runway Perspective (Seniors), spotlight, Upper School Life, valedictorian, valedictory address

Inspiring and Instructive

Posted by Billy Faires on March 05, 2015

In the Upper School Chapel on Wednesday, March 4, Headmaster Lee Burns '87 went to the podium to speak. His remarks follow:

Of the many characteristics that I admire in people, at or near the top of my list would be resilience: the determination to keep going, to keep fighting, no matter the odds or circumstances, despite the pain or obstacles. Resilience is a combination of courage, passion and discipline, and it is rare in today’s world.

In my first few months here at McCallie, I’ve seen resilience displayed in different ways, but there is one example that is particularly extraordinary and inspiring.

As students at McCallie, you naturally interact with and get to know your teachers, advisors, deans and coaches. Yet there are many people here you probably don’t get to know, or maybe even know of, and yet their roles here are essential.

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Topics: cancer, character, dedication, duty, Featured, First Person, grit, resilience, spotlight

Signing Day, Stars and the Super Bowl

Posted by Lee Burns on February 06, 2015

By Lee Burns '87, McCallie Headmaster

If you follow college football, you probably know that today is national signing day, when some senior high school football players sign their national letters-of-intent, committing themselves to play football at their selected colleges in exchange for athletic scholarships.

In recent years, a system has emerged to rate high school football players who are likely to be recruited by colleges. It’s a star system, from 1-5 stars, with five stars being reserved for the most talented, elite and sought-after players. From what I gather, the stars are largely based on talent (real or perceived) and related physical attributes such as size, strength, speed, vertical leap and so forth.

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Topics: details, Featured, First Person, good to great, process, recruiting, Posts from the Ridge, spotlight, success, talent

Students Need More Sleep and Later Starts

Posted by Lee Burns on January 05, 2015

By Lee Burns '87, Headmaster

The Upper School students erupted with enthusiastic applause when we announced it at the end of Chapel. Middle school students gave me high fives when I walked into their art class. The grateful emails began pouring in from parents within minutes.

No, our school community wasn’t universally excited about a recent football win. We decided to start the school day later so our boys could get more sleep.

Many issues within schools are hotly debated, with research and compelling reasons on either side. That adolescents need more sleep, and that they perform better when they get more of it, is without dispute.

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Topics: Featured, First Person, health, late start school, learning, Posts from the Ridge, sleep, spotlight, teens

Awakening to Privilege

Posted by Sumner McCallie on December 22, 2014

Sumner McCallie, Academic Dean at McCallie School, was asked to reflect on his summer 2014 journey to Cambodia by Where There Be Dragons, the group with which he traveled. The following was included in their bi-annual publication.

As an educator who has led international trips for two decades, I have watched countless students confront the reality of their American lifestyle and wealth compared to the situations of the local folks with whom we have worked to build homes or dig wells or preserve forest resources. I have seen students figuratively, and occasionally literally, stopped dead in their tracks in shock at the daily challenges our new friends face to find food or firewood or freedom.

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Topics: Campus Life, community service, Featured, poverty, Posts from the Ridge, spotlight, O Captain! My Captain!, travel, Upper School Life

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