Dear Prairie Families,
In more than three decades of teaching, I don’t recall a time when I was this excited for the start of the school year. We are all incredibly fortunate to be a part of Prairie and I hope you will join me attending as many TPS events as possible this year so that we can grow closer and more interconnected as a school community.
One aspect of our community that I most admire is that we recognize the complexities of each individual and we value and celebrate both our differences and our commonalities. At our best, we are a wonderfully diverse community (in every sense of the word diverse) that recognizes our shared humanity and experiences while also respecting and trusting that our differences are worth discussion. This respectful dialogue can and should, at times, result in a difference of opinions. That said, more often than not, we will find that we share beliefs and points of view.
While we can certainly get better at listening to and caring for each other — I believe that Prairie students, parents, and teachers see the best in people. We assume positive intent and realize that we are all flawed, but committed to growing, learning, and being our best selves.
In the weeks ahead, organized and well-funded efforts by political groups and other agenda-minded individuals will attempt to increase our anxieties by sowing fear, distrust, and disdain. I ask that you join the faculty and me in helping our students see the complexities of people and issues. If we as parents can model a civil and respectful dialogue centered on seeking common ground when it is there, and respectfully disagreeing when it is not, our students will be better people, thinkers, communicators, and leaders.
TPS community events, whether athletic, art, or academic-focused, are all great places to broaden our experiences and strengthen our bonds. Prairie was founded by Mrs. Imogene P. Johnson to make “our community a better place to live, work, and raise a family.” This unique intent empowers us to make closer connections, and I hope to see you around campus this year. We are #BetterTogether.
Nathaniel W. Coffman, Ed.D.
Head of School & President