From the Director’s Chair

Greetings DECATS Families!

I am delighted to write with an update on all the great, strengthening happenings during the first week of DECATS at Strake Jesuit. Once the program kicked off, the Scholars quickly began to exemplify strengths never seen before at DECATS. From the first moment of Monday’s program the energy level was off the charts, having been apart for two years, and it only went up from there. During their first period courses, some Scholars started learning about their pre-frontal cortex in Executive Functioning, while our Wellness squads began learning how to keep their bodies strong and healthy. Our Values & Morals teams explored how they can best use and recognize the strength within themselves by tracking the Hero’s Journey and will begin to see where they are in that journey themselves.

Each morning and afternoon, Ms. Soto, Mr. Strange and I led all of us in electrifying assemblies, where we sang and moved to classic DECATS songs as well as some new tunes. We waited to bust The Banana Dance out until Friday afternoon, but it was surely a raucous affair. We miss having parents with us during assemblies, but for those of you who have joined us at an assembly in the past, I’m sure you will agree that the songs easily get stuck in one’s head. Walking around campus, it is not uncommon to hear a verse or two while Scholars switch courses or play at recess. Next week, we are especially excited to put motions to the words of our new theme song “The Strength Within!”

As I have made my way around campus, I have been impressed with the imaginative creation of home-grown crafts (“DECATS DIY”), the diligence and thoroughness of some budding lawyers (“Once Upon a Crime”), the entrepreneurial spirits of some budding business owners (“Shark Tank”) and magical feats using nothing but a little multiplication (“Mathemagic”). Around each corner, examples of creative and critical thinking take place. Personally, the most rewarding moments are when I see two new Scholars develop a friendship this summer that will continue to grow throughout the years to come. Our mentors work exceptionally well together, all oriented towards the same goal of bringing your Scholars an incredible summer experience of joy, learning and growth. With all that’s planned for week two, there is no limit to the strength within your Scholars.

As we close out our first week, one of our biggest celebrations comes from our whole community’s support and cooperation with the safety protocols we have in place this year. We are certainly not operating under ideal conditions; however, we are so encouraged by the attendance by our whole community to the new standards meant to keep everyone as safe as possible. We look forward to more of the same in coming weeks!

Let us know what your Scholars are saying about their DECATS experience. If we may use your comments online and in other projects, let us know that as well. We are on a mission to provide a qualitatively differentiated learning experience in the realm of education, boldly devoted to excellence in mentoring, learning and developing young leaders to use their gifts for the betterment of the world around them. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with your children.

Sincerely,

Chris Siemann
Program Director, Strake Jesuit

Chris Siemann
Chris SiemannProgram Director, Strake Jesuit