News Archives

Head's August Message

July 31, 2017

I am looking forward to the first day of school on Thursday, August 24, when I can gaze out into the audience and welcome our students, faculty and staff to the start of the 95th year of John Burroughs School.

Before that happens, I want to invite all students and parents to join us in the Quad at 11 am on Monday, August 21, to experience the solar eclipse together. Physics teacher and Science Department chair Wayne Winters will lead us in a lesson about the astronomy of the day, and we will have a number of telescopes on hand as well as more than 200 pairs of "eclipse glasses" for safe viewing — first come, first served. Feel free to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy. The partial eclipse period will begin at about 11:45 am, and we'll experience approximately 45 seconds of total eclipse here on campus in the 1:15-1:20 pm time frame. I look forward to sharing this historic day together.

And could it be more appropriate for us to celebrate this scientific marvel and this once-in-a-lifetime moment just steps away from the construction of the new science, technology and research (STAR) building? By the time school starts, the library and science building will be long gone, the excavation will be complete, and the foundation will be poured. And soon after, we will begin to see the steel superstructure rising. It will be exciting to watch the building grow out of the ground this year.

The STAR project was just part of the summer activity. We installed all of the science equipment in the two temporary science buildings, situated between Laughing Lake and the natatorium. "Science Town" — as we have come to call it — is made up of the Big Dipper, which houses eight labs and classrooms and all biology and chemistry classes, and the Little Dipper, which holds four labs and classrooms and all of the physics classes.  

Near the entrance to the Schnuck Wing on Price Road, we installed another bioretention system, which will clean the water that runs off the parking lot before it goes back into the creeks. On the practice field between the football and soccer fields, we installed a temporary parking lot for the construction workers. 

We are also re-coating the tennis courts, and they should be ready for the girls' season as they attempt to win their third straight state championship. And just off of the art room, we have begun work on a beautiful new outdoor classroom, which will enhance Anne Martin's and Michael Gesiakowski's instruction around the kiln.

As I always love to say, the buildings are great, but it is the people in the buildings that make Burroughs what it is. During the summner, we had nearly a thousand folks on campus for Burr Oak Camp, Bomber Sports Camp, Aim High, Summer Days, and team conditioning and camps. The spirit of the summer has been wonderful, but I look forward to having our students, parents, teachers and staff back together in one place.

Hope to see you at the eclipse!

—Andy Abbott