We Are SSCA
By Dr. Mark A. Jennings
October 7, 2020
“We Are SSCA.”
This is what hangs on our banner in front of the school. It is on our social media posts. We put it on our emails. It’s even our new favorite sign-off: #wearessca.
It can seem like such a trite statement, I suppose – that “We are SSCA.” But, as I considered it more and more, the significance of such a slogan began to grow on me. It is not only a declaration, but is also a promise. The currency of the world today is division, not unity. Arguments have become the common tongue and with every issue everyone wants to know what side you are on – the assumption being that every issue has a side – a right side and a wrong side. Even our physical presence is defined by separation. To do school safely now means to separate – to be three feet apart, six feet apart, behind plexiglass, in cohorts, behind masks. Safe means distance. And this is where “We Are SSCA” resounds – for, having something that binds instead of rends is far from trite. It’s more than a mere slogan.
We Are SSCA. It means that no single person or group defines or comprises who we are. All of us are necessary to be SSCA. Together, we are. This experience. This school. Each student, every student. Each parent, every parent. Each teacher, every teacher. Each staff member, every staff member. It takes each of us to be the “We.” “We are SSCA” is a declaration that each of us are required. Unity is founded in our shared belief that each of us contributes to the fabric of this school.
We Are SSCA. It means effort. Coming to school, doing school, being together takes effort. To be SSCA is to choose each other. To be at SSCA this year requires much of each us. On one hand are the additional needs: learning how to do school under these rules, keeping up with safety protocols, changes to the way things are done, sharing in the increased costs required, and so forth. To be SSCA means to say to one another, “I will help carry the load.” To be SSCA is a promise that we make – each student, parent, teacher, and staff member makes – that this year (especially this year!), our gaze is toward each other. Our hearts will focus on lifting up, encouraging, delighting in one another.
When we opened our doors in September and the students entered the halls, teachers and staff ready for them… That moment was an important one. It was the moment when the choice that each of us made to be part of this wonderful place, part of this family, reverberated.
And we have discovered many things just in this first month! We have discovered that we can do school safely. That we can do music, theatre, and the arts. That we can do activities, sports, and athletics. We have discovered that we can be together and move forward in hope, not fear.
In this first month, we have discovered that a school with students from more than 30 communities and 100 churches is an example of what can be. We have been reminded that “We Are SSCA.” And I, for one, look forward with joy and satisfaction to seeing this declaration, this promise, this choice, lived out every day. Join me in that joy!