From the Head of School

Gus Lee, in his book Courage: The Backbone of Leadership, defines courage as the “mental and moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.”

Lee goes on to say that courage comes from the Latin word for heart, and he calls courage “the tip of the spear of integrity.”

I love watching our students walk into the school in the morning. Standing outside, I see students from different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and cities; all unpretentiously dressed in Lands' End school uniform clothing, carrying book bags and computers — and I am inspired by their remarkable courage.

Our students arrive to school in minutes from nearby towns like Brecksville, Hudson, and Macedonia, and in hours from as far away as Oberlin, Concord, and Doylestown. They step with courage and confidence into our environment despite struggles and even failure in other schools. They trust that we all - students and staff - will have another chance to make this journey successfully together.

They range in age from six to 18. Some barely reach four feet - and others stand over six feet tall. They study everything from CodeBreakers to Calculus, using a range of technologies from pencils, paper, and chalk boards, to computers and electronic notebooks. But one commonality they all share is the existence of a learning difference that may impede the acquisition of language skills or challenge their ability to plan and manage time.

As our students and parents can attest, school in the past has been a place where failure, frustration and even rejection have been the norm. Our students face the real fear that failure could happen again, and still they gather their courage and come to school anyway. They persevere. Each works hard to study and grasp something difficult, figure it out — only to lose it when the time comes to put it on the test—and then still they gather their courage and go at it again.

Lawrence students pursue their hopes and destiny with a kind of courage and commitment that many of their peers — indeed, many of us — simply can’t understand. And when they are educated in an environment that honors their individual learning style, they succeed—even excel—and go on to successful experiences in schools, colleges and careers.

The challenge that we understand so well at Lawrence is and has been the same for every school in every era: to create a learning community where growth is the norm for teachers and students, where education is personal, and where taking a risk to try something new and difficult is protected, honored and celebrated.

Welcome to the Pride! Welcome to Lawrence School — where differences are not disabilities, and where great minds don’t think alike!

Lou Salza
Head of School

Transformational Leadership

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