Head of School Reflects on “Why We Are Here”

April 30, 2020


Our School leader reflects on the words of SSM graduate and Algerian national team player Assia Sidhoum.

Greetings from Faribault,

Today we heard from Governor Walz that our stay at home orders will be extended for two more weeks with slight modifications. For most of us, that news is not surprising, but that does not make it any easier to hear. While a lot of our families are located in Minnesota, many of you, of course, are not, and we know you are experiencing your own forms of stay at home, shelter in place, or quarantine orders. We all need a collective pick-me-up. We all need a big hug—albeit a virtual one at this point.

My virtual hug came this morning from an unexpected source: Google Alerts. Every morning I receive a collated email that lists articles where there are references made to Shattuck-St. Mary’s. FIFA.com wrote an article about Algerian national team player, and former Shattuck-St. Mary’s student, Assia Sidhoum, who spent a post-graduate year with us. I expected a passing mention of SSM, as is normal for these articles, but then I opened it and read her words: “It was difficult in the beginning because I wasn’t fluent in English, and it was the first time I’d lived away from my family. However, Shattuck-St. Mary’s is renowned for helping young people adapt and I quickly felt at home. The year I spent at the school was the best experience of my life and I’m indebted to them for my physical and technical development.”

The best experience of my life. It makes me smile every time I read her words. That is the impact we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be a part of here at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School. That is why we are here.

I hope her words hug you, too. Virtually of course.

Stay healthy and safe,