A Founder's Perspective from Mick Parrott

Today, after just 45 years, traditions … those wonderful legacies of principles, practices, and repeated experiences that one group or class or generation hands down to the next … have become central themes in the Canterbury School story and bedrock for our school’s future. It often takes decades for traditions to take hold, but as in so many other ways, Canterbury didn’t wait for the slow march of time to begin some of its most cherished traditions. Instead, from September 8, 1977, the day it first opened its doors, Canterbury School did things differently and in the spirit of Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken, took “the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.”

I can think of many traditions that are associated with Canterbury School today, such as the small classes, inclusive participation in extracurricular activities, the trips with classmates, the bagpipes at graduations, and many more.  But for me, four traditions stand out since they are foundational and differentiate Canterbury.

Since Canterbury is an independent school, it is essentially financed and controlled by the families that choose to be part of its community and to shape its future. Out of necessity, this independence has spawned a spirit of exceptional volunteerism and engagement by parents in lunchrooms and on fields of play, in facility refurbishment projects, leading school trips, planning school events, always giving generously of time, talent, and treasure on the many boards and committees that a school of Canterbury’s caliber must have for sustenance.

Great Teaching
Canterbury has always been successful in attracting a faculty of skilled and perceptive teachers who are able to practice their craft as true professionals and who take a personal interest in each of their students.

Chapels are regular gatherings where matters of character development such as ethical and virtuous behavior are covered in the context of Judeo-Christian values, often with the help of inspiring outside presenters.

Pursuit of Excellence
From its opening day, the pursuit of excellence has been implicit in everything Canterbury School strives to do. Canterbury students, teachers, and administrators are expected to do their very best each day, not only to advance Canterbury’s high standards, but also to be exemplary citizens of our community and the world. By honoring its past traditions and creating new ones with each passing year,  Canterbury School will continue to build on its distinguished legacy and chart a promising course for its future.