The last year and a half has tested the limits of educators and the educational system, demanding unprecedented levels of patience, creativity, perseverance, and growth. In the midst of this climate, Dr. Autumn Graves came on board as Head of School at St. Anne’s-Belfield. Recently Dr. Graves sat down for an interview with Angie Oakey, board member and past Parents' Association president, as part of a lecture series hosted by the Contemporary Club of Albemarle.
In the interview, Dr. Graves describes the life experiences she believes prepared her for her position as Head of School and for opportunities to build upon community connections in Charlottesville. Various projects she’s led or collaborated on encouraged youth to participate in the larger community, taught them to identify and enhance their strengths, and helped them find their place in the economic ecosystem doing meaningful, impactful work.
One focus of the interview was the pandemic’s effect on teachers, students, and parents. Dr. Graves acknowledges that educators tend to “like predictability… and COVID removed the structure,” turning education as we know it upside down, consequently shining a light on food insecurity in the Charlottesville area. Dr. Graves felt called to involve students, in collaboration with City of Promise and the Boys and Girls Club, in creating and proposing solutions that would increase access to food for residents of Charlottesville.
In the above recording, hear what Dr. Graves has to say about topics like passion, resilience, parenting, youth voice, technology, and what it means to truly grow 21st century citizens and leaders.