I'm so pleased to be able to share more about a change that we're instituting this year in our efforts to make our school culture a truly vibrant and outward-focused one. Starting this year, we're entering the next phase, or "CHAPTR," of our House System.
New House Namesakes
First and foremost, let me introduce the namesakes of our six Houses (CHAPTR being the acronym):
The CHAVEZ House ♦(formerly Shin): Named after Cesar Chavez, who worked to secure better working conditions for migrant farm workers.
The HIRABAYASHI House ♦(formerly Yod): Named after Gordon Hirabayashi, who challenged the US Supreme Court during World War II when Japanese-American citizens were being interned.
The ANTHONY House ♦(formerly Gimel): Named after Susan B. Anthony, who championed the cause of women's suffrage.
The PARKS House♦(formerly Alef): Named after Rosa Parks, who was an icon in the civil rights movement for her role in the Montgomery bus boycott.
The TUBMAN House♦(formerly Lamed): Named after Harriet Tubman, who dedicated her life to the cause of abolition.
The ROBINSON House♦(formerly Peh): Named after Jackie Robinson, who was the first player to break the color barrier in professional baseball.
Second, allow me to briefly unpack the rationale for the new House names.
More Applicable, Less Antiquated: We want our Houses to be aspirational. We desire for our students coming into their new Houses to feel a sense of pride of being affiliated with a certain namesake. Though the intention behind the former naming system of our Houses was certainly noble, we discovered that the former names did not feel relevant or meaningful for students. Our hope is that the new House names address that.
More Principle, Less Paragon: To be clear, we intentionally designed our new House names to be "teachable moments" for our students. Certainly, the icons that our Houses are named after made great efforts to enhance human and societal flourishing in their corners of the world. However, we can also concurrently recognize and acknowledge that many of these individuals were not perfect individuals. In fact, some of these icons have very complicated legacies. Having said that, we want our students to engage in thoughtful discussions about who their House's namesakes are to learn about both their virtues as well as their vices. Our desire, ultimately, is that these namesakes showcase more of a principle to follow instead of a paragon to pattern our lives around: despite any errors or follies we might commit in this life, we can still accomplish great things in this world, empowered by the forgiving kindness of Jesus and the saving acceptance of God.
A Different Focus
Finally, I want to highlight what our goal with the House System will be this year. We want to explore the metaphor of a House being a "home." Consequently, our priority with our planned House events this year will be to have students practice hospitality, and engage in friendly competitions that derive their inspiration from Romans chapter 12: "... outdo one another in showing honor." In the coming weeks, we'll be sharing more information with our students about how the House System will look different this year, and we're all very much looking forward to seeing our students flex their hospitality muscles.
Thank you for the opportunity to share a bit more about our next CHAPTR of House life here at Maranatha! This is going to be an incredible year, and I hope that you will join me in my enthusiasm and optimism for what lies ahead of us.