A Letter from Head of School to our HCA Community
June 3, 2020
Dear Members of the Holy Child Academy Community,
On this last day of this very unusual school year, I had planned to write a letter recognizing the many accomplishments of our community, expressing my gratitude to our faculty, staff, families, and trustees who came together to ensure that our students continued to learn and grow and thrive in unexpected and challenging circumstances. While we remained mindful of the pain, loss, and uncertainty that this terrible pandemic has wrought, we also grew in strength and resilience and faced our challenges with faith and hope.
While all of that is still true, today we struggle with an even more insidious disease. The murder of George Floyd has forced us to confront the scourge of racism which threatens to destroy our nation. Holy Child Academy joins in solidarity with the millions of peaceful protestors across our country and around the world who are speaking out and naming the evils of systemic racism and injustice. We feel the justified anger and outrage, and we’re challenged by it. It’s easy during this time to feel overwhelmed and to give in to despair. This battle to defeat racism has been fought for centuries and now, with the current backdrop of COVID-19 and economic fragility, it’s understandable to feel discouraged and even hopeless, but as people who are committed to nurturing and educating children, I respectfully urge you to join me in using this moment to recommit to the work of justice.
Now, more than ever, the need for a school like ours is urgent. The rich diversity of our community is one of our greatest gifts. It was the first thing that struck me when I first visited four years ago and made me want to join this community. You have given your children the gift of growing and learning in a diverse environment with classmates who don’t always look like them. Let’s allow ourselves to see the potential for hope and change in the optimism and beauty of these children.
Leading our school has been a great privilege, and I’m humbled by the fact that you entrust your children to our care. Now more than ever, I’m mindful of the responsibility that comes with this privilege. I understand that I have to work harder to make every child and every family feel valued and respected. In the months ahead, we will create opportunities for dialogue and conversation about how we can do a better job at HCA. We will continue to enhance our curriculum to be sure that at every age, students are learning about the history and legacy of racism and the values of respect and dignity. We will expand the efforts of our diversity working group to create programming for our students that help us celebrate and honor the contributions and legacies of people of color. We will increase the professional development opportunities for our faculty and staff so that we can be better equipped to have open, honest, and informed dialogues about our own racism and bias - and how they impact our work and our relationships. While as a white woman I will never fully understand the hurt, suffering, and fear that people of color face, I know this: I am committed to listening, learning and leading to build an inclusive space where every child knows that he or she is cherished.
So, on the last day of a school year none of us will ever forget, I write with gratitude for the blessings and accomplishments that we have shared this year, and I also pledge that in the months ahead, we will recommit ourselves to doing more, doing better, working harder to earn the honor of being a Holy Child school. We will challenge ourselves to live up to the ideals that we state in our philosophy - to inspire students to “shape the future with a joyful spirit and creative optimism.”
During these summer months, know that we will continue to process the tumultuous events that are changing our world, and we will be planning to welcome you and your children back to a school that is more committed to living up to our mission and values. We often turn to the words and example of Cornelia Connelly to inspire us. Her legacy lives on in the Sisters of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, our founders. To that end, I am sharing a letter from Sr. Eileen McDevitt, the director of the Holy Child network of schools, which clarifies the commitment of our Sisters to building God’s kingdom through our work together.
I wish you and your children a peaceful, safe, and restorative summer.
WELCOME FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL
“…Inspiring students to shape the future with a joyful spirit and creative optimism.”
These words, taken from our Academy’s philosophy, capture the essence of what makes HCA a truly exceptional school. The first time I stepped through the doors, I experienced a vibrant and joyful community of learners. The passion of the faculty and staff, and the energy and engagement of the children were palpable. I believe you will feel that same excitement when you visit.
On this website, you’ll find information about our excellent academic curriculum, our outstanding music and performing arts program, the highly individualized attention each student receives, as well as our numerous co-curricular offerings. You’ll also discover the beauty of our mission and philosophy, which speak to providing the foundation for a lifetime of excellence, achievement, and service, and the promotion of personal responsibility, community service, and an appreciation of diversity.
I am honored to lead this truly special Academy, and I hope you will take the time to get to know us — and let us get to know you.
Head of School
About the Head of School
Margaret Fox-Tully joined Holy Child Academy in July 2016 as Head of School.
Prior to Holy Child Academy, Fox-Tully was Director of Organizational Effectiveness and Communications at Princeton University (2013–16) and Chief of Staff (2010–13) for Princeton University President (now Emerita) Shirley M. Tilghman.
Fox-Tully, a resident of Ardmore, Pa., has more than 20 years teaching experience in secondary and higher education. In addition to holding key leadership roles at Cabrini University and Harcum College, she has been Head of School (2009–10) and Director of Development (1984–86) at Saint Dominic Academy in Jersey City, N.J.
Fox-Tully earned a bachelor's degree in English and secondary education from Rutgers University and a master’s degree from Wesleyan University (Conn.)
Read Fox-Tully's Q&A with Main Line Today.