What is the most important element in a school? Test scores? Preparation? The arts or athletics? Well-roundedness? Character development? While these are all important, most seasoned educators would use words like environment, culture, and family-feeling as crucial to a successful school. Students who are comfortable and supported are able to be more creative and reach for success. They self-advocate. In addition to emotional security, students must feel physically safe. Physical safety issues range from campus security to peer relationships.

Advent is a home away from home. We want our students to feel loved, supported, and safe. I would argue that Advent’s tremendous success in academics, arts, and athletics is at least partially based on our students feeling at home in their school.

James Bradford, our School Board President, informed me over the break that he received a call from Steve Marshall, Alabama’s Attorney General. Advent received the Alabama Safe School Award for private schools. It recognizes that Advent understands the importance of the physical and emotional security of those in our charge. It demonstrates that while we have a staff that is responsible daily for measures that protect our children, it also recognizes an Advent community that appreciates that safety is everyone’s responsibility. Attorney General Marshall will visit Advent to honor our school’s efforts.

On behalf of the faculty and staff, I would like to thank our parents for their trust and support. I would like to thank our community for providing the resources that allow us to enhance our facilities and enrich our student’s programs. We are all interconnected and one of our greatest strengths is the support we give each other.

We are looking forward to a terrific spring!



Palmer Kennedy