Head of School's Charge to the Class of 2020: Aaron Schubach, former Head of School

August 12, 2020

After holding 24 individual diploma conferment ceremonies in May for the Class of 2020, we were able to bring the collective class together on Saturday, August 8, 2020, for the 55th Commencement Exercises while following health and safety guidelines.

Head of School Tambi Tyler: I never imagined my journey at CSS to begin like this, but as was sung so beautifully, the school’s Alma Mater rings ever true with the line “Across the miles and seas of changes, we’ll return to CSS.”

Quarantine restrictions in New Mexico prevented our previous Head of School Aaron Schubach from joining us today, so “across the miles and seas of changes,” he is returning to CSS with this special recorded message for the Class of 2020:


Dear Kodiaks,

I am very proud to celebrate with you today, and I am watching on the videocast right now, which is, as you might think, super weird. Thank you for allowing me to share this moment with you. And thanks for Saving Fiddler last weekend - talk about a mic drop for your class.

On that note, and as I hope you know, I am incredibly fond of your class, and I feel much in common with you. I understand that I don’t act or sing or play soccer or mix music as well as you do. And I’ve never made a meme in my life, which you all clearly enjoy. But when I announced it would be my last year at CSS and I appointed myself a member of the Class of 2020, I did it with pride.

Like you, this fall I’m becoming a member of a new institution. And I have a lot to learn, and I have had to manage new ways of connecting and living, like you. But I know you - and I - can rise to these challenges.

And so the remaining 2 minutes of my charge will share two fairly succinct and entirely unrelated lessons I have learned and used since we last saw each other.

First, you are going to be busy but don’t neglect the things that bring you curiosity, joy, and camaraderie. These things are different for each of you, but don’t neglect them. Consciously identify them and do them daily. It doesn’t matter whether you like to bake cookies or shoot hoops - just do it and share your joy with others. For me, I know that any day that I ride a bike is a good day. While we all want to know what the future will bring right now - we don’t and we won’t soon. But if we accept that life’s best moments are just moments, we are happier.

Secondly, and most importantly. I know you well, and I am about to tell you something about yourself. You are not fragile. You might feel vulnerable sometimes, and that is OK, but you are not fragile. You are strong enough to lean into this moment - take care of yourself, but don’t fear your own fragility. You are going to succeed at what comes next in the exact same manner that you succeeded here. In fact, you are the opposite of fragile - the education you have received thus far and the love and support of your parents have positioned you well. Share your gifts with the world. As you have seen recently, the world needs your help.

Class of 2020, congratulations and thank you for sharing your commencement with me. I am sorry not to be here in person. Anna and I look forward to seeing you at a CSS reunion in the future.

With affection and appreciation.

Aaron Schubach