Public Remarks from Head of School

Mt. Hood Climb Observance Day

These remarks were shared at the Mt. Hood Climb Observance Day Ceremony on May 8, 2024.

Today we remember, as we have every year for the past 38 years, the lives of nine people who died in that terrible tragedy on Mt. Hood. At the time, I was a sophomore in high school, the same age as many of those students, and I was on the other side of the country in Massachusetts. At that point in my life, I had never climbed a mountain, and I couldn’t imagine that a snowstorm was possible in May. And yet, I watched the TV each day, hearing updates about the search and rescue operation and then about the fate of those nine people, nine lives lost, nine families irrevocably changed, one school community left to find a way through the pain and the sorrow and the shock of it all. 

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Reflections on Earth Day

These remarks were shared on Earth Day during the Upper School Chapel on April 22, 2024.

On April 22, 1970, over 20 million Americans gathered across the United States to observe the first Earth Day: a collective demonstration of support to advocate for environmental protection across the nation. Fifty-four years later, we recognize Earth Day again today as we face the existential threat of climate change and its geopolitical impact across the globe. Earth Day reminds us of our collective identity as global citizens of the biotic community, entwined in a fragile web of life. We are all called to do our part through sustainable practices in our daily life; responsible management of our forests, fields, and oceans; and thoughtful consideration of a more responsible ethic of environmental care.

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Leaning In

This sermon was given by The Rev. Michael Spencer on April 7 at The Episcopal Parish of St. John the Baptist.

Thomas is a very real disciple. He demands proof. This resurrection business sounds a little too remarkable. And so he says, show me Jesus walking around. Show me Jesus with his wounds, unless I see (the marks) and put my finger into his hands, I will not believe. Here are three stories that resonate for me when I think about Thomas.

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Thoughts on St. Francis

This sermon was given by The Rev. Michael Spencer on the occasion of the Feast of St. Francis on the annual OES Sunday at The Episcopal Parish of St. John the Baptist.

As the words from the gospel remind us, God’s yoke is easy, and the burden light. Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis, who discovered that liberation comes from being yoked/connected to God. Francis lived in the early 13th century and founded a monastic order devoted to the service of others. I love St. Francis for many reasons. He was an ordained Deacon who exemplified a commitment to service in the world. This was not always the case.

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The Synergy of Sports and Life

These remarks were shared at the Athletic Hall of Fame event on Sept. 21, 2023

It is a pleasure to be with all of you this evening as we celebrate excellence in sports and the excellence of sports. I am especially grateful that alumni from many decades at OES (from the 1960s to the 2000s) have joined this gathering along with parents of alums, former faculty and staff, and current parents and students.

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