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A Thanksgiving Message from Rich Nourie

November 24, 2021

Dear AFS Families,

Thanksgiving comes at a perfect time of the school year to pause,  rest and reflect on the people and experiences for which we are most grateful. The weather is making its slow shift into winter, the leaves are almost through their glorious season of transformation. In my walks in the woods with my dog Skye, I can see the now dark, cold waters of the Wissahickon Creek moving quietly far below from high on the ridge. Sound carries farther in the colder air, creating a different sense of distance in the outdoors. And the moonlight is brighter through the bare trees. The change of seasons is itself such a gift, reminding us of creation slowly turning, the passage of time, the cycles of renewal that are deeply embedded in the natural world. They remind us of our place in that world, of the rhythms that are embedded in us as well, inviting reflection and freshened perspective.

As I write to you this Thanksgiving week, the first snow flurry of the year is creating peals of delighted surprise from students in the Stewart Lobby. And these are the big kids! It is in moments like these that I am so grateful to work in the company of children and the adults who work with them. Our school is a place of wonder, of daily discovery and growth and it is a blessing to me to be a part of it each day.

And so I send this message of Thanksgiving to each of your families, so grateful for the remarkable depth of community that we create together on behalf of our children. I hope that this week brings warm and welcome connection with family and friends, lots of good food and time to enjoy a change of pace in each other’s company. May we be refreshed by a spirit of giving thanks together and by the goodness of the love in our homes.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!


Rich Nourie, Head of School

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