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Head of School Briefing: November 15, 2021

Head of School Briefing: November 15, 2021

Dear Bullis Parents,

Weekly Briefing from the Head of School Christian Sullivan

Before the Homecoming football game a couple of weeks ago, I met an alum from the class of 1962. He had served in Vietnam and told me how many from his class had also fought, and that sadly, some of those young men did not return home. It was a poignant reminder to me that Bullis was founded as a school to prepare young men for the military academies and has a proud history of service. Last week, each division held an assembly to commemorate Veterans Day. These events helped us honor current members of the armed forces, veterans, and those who have passed. We gave thanks for their sacrifices and for keeping us safe, and we gave special thanks to those members of our faculty who have served in the armed forces:

  • Todd Baldwin, US Army
  • Jeff Bellistri, USN
  • Mark Colburn, USAF
  • Tim Hanson, US Army
  • Ty Lloyd, USAF
  • Bill Pumpkin, US Army
  • Maria Luisa De Le Cerda Rohde, US Army
  • Tom Williams, US Army

Virtually every year, Bullis still proudly sends a student or two to one of the military academies; service is embedded into the life of our school. And the role modeling of this service and volunteerism by the adults in our community is frequent and meaningful.

Vaccination Clinic

The vaccination clinic for our youngest students last Friday is a case in point. So many people came forward as volunteers to make the clinic a huge success. One hundred and thirty 5-11-year-old students were vaccinated because of the efforts of our nurse, Monica Dayhoff, and many parent and faculty volunteers. Thank you all so very much. There are many moments when adult members of our Bullis community step up--dinners before sports events, arranging the ninth-grade banquet, supporting the dance, Thanksgiving baskets, the Pie Bake, the Keen prom, and mentoring capstone projects to name just a few. Your efforts are deeply appreciated.

COVID Test Results

We have conducted 2,187 tests over the last two weeks. I am very pleased to report that all of these tests were negative. We were, however, notified of one positive result of a test conducted outside of school. This year, we have conducted 12,393 tests and have had 16 positive results for a test positivity rate of 0.13%.

Listening Tour Events

Ryann Fapohunda (Director of Teaching and Learning), Bryan Whitford, Bobby Horsey, Elise Kohan (Co-Chairs of the DEI Committee), and I have now facilitated five listening tour events. We have been both humbled and encouraged by everything we have heard from more than 100 participants. This evening, I will meet with 15 non-English-speaking families to hear their stories, hopes, and dreams. I look forward to debriefing the community before Thanksgiving. What we have heard will partly inform how we move forward with our efforts to be an even more inclusive, equitable school.

Sports and Activities

As we approach Thanksgiving, many fall activities are drawing to a close. Congratulations to the student-athletes and their coaches whose seasons are finished, and to the musicians, actors, and dancers (and their teachers) who performed so beautifully on recent consecutive Saturday nights at school. Here are the details of the fall and winter seasons.

Drop Off/Pick Up Request

The vast majority of families adhere to our traffic flow directions - thank you very much! We have noted, however, that some parents drop off and pick up their students both in the circle in front of the School and in the School’s very limited parking spaces. We ask parents not to do this as it negatively impacts traffic flow and has become an issue of student, and driver, safety. Please follow the drop-off and pick-up procedures that the division heads and I have communicated since the beginning of the year.

This week is the last full week of school before Thanksgiving. Let’s finish it with a random Blue and Gold day Friday [11/19/2021], just for fun!


christian sullivan signature

Christian G. Sullivan
Head of School

Head of School, Christian Sullivan, updates the Bullis community on celebration of life for Dwayne Haskins, Jr. '16, dining services, calendar changes for 2022-23 school year, sports and activities, and COVID.