From the Director’s Chair

Greetings DECATS Families!

I am delighted to write with an update on how far and how much we are already exploring during the first week of DECATS Houston at Strake Jesuit. From the first moment of Monday’s program the energy level was off the charts, and it only went up from there. During their first period courses, our youngest Scholars started learning about proper handshake and introduction etiquette, other Scholars started learning about their prefrontal 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 power they have within themselves by tracking the Hero’s Journey and will begin to see where they are in that journey themselves.

Each morning and afternoon, Mr. Hinshaw, Mr. Strange, the Graduate Assistants 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, but it was surely a raucous celebration. We are happy to welcome all parents to join us during morning and afternoon assemblies in the Parsley Center Auditorium; for those of you who have joined us already this summer, I’m sure you’ll agree that the songs are powerfully catchy. 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 learn the motions and music of our new theme song for this summer!

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 celestial zookeepers (“Star Wars Zoology”), the perseverance of scholars in determining what is fact and what is fiction (“Mythbusters”) and the dexterity of some budding seamsters (“Sew Cool”). 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, we cannot wait to continue exploring with your Scholars.

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, 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.

In Gratitude,

Chris Siemann
Program Director, Strake Jesuit

Chris Siemann
Chris SiemannProgram Director, Strake Jesuit