A new year, a new head of school, and 214 new students brought a renewed sense of excitement to Opening Convocation on August 29. The annual gathering on Childs Memorial Terrace began with a familiar tradition—members of the Senior Class escorted prefirst and first grade students down the hill, hand in hand, to their seats.
Then, after an inspiring invocation by Director of Character and Service Bridget Collins, longtime faculty member Andy Motsko introduced McDonogh’s new Head of School, Dave Farace ’87. Motsko, who taught and coached Farace at McDonogh, described him as a diligent student and dedicated athlete who gave his all no matter how challenging the circumstances. He also told the audience that Farace has consistently demonstrated humility, kindness, leadership, and love throughout his life, always with an engaging spirit, a quick smile, and a big laugh.
When Farace, visibly touched by Motsko’s words, got up to address the entire school community for the first time, he shared that his driving ambition as Head of School is to provide joyful service and leadership to this community. He said, “McDonogh has given so much to me—a scholarship, numerous mentors like Mr. Motsko, and my best friends for life—that it is now my responsibility to give back." He also shared his belief that adult life is defined by service to others, and he urged students to “find meaning and joy in providing intentional care for others.
Senior Ford Bennett and Middle School representative Ben B. ’23 also offered remarks, each giving advice on how to make the most of the upcoming year.
Finally, much to the delight of the students, the ceremony concluded with the traditional ringing of the school bell by the Head of School!
Watch Convocation here.