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Back to School SEAson

Back to School SEAson

Over Labor Day Weekend, Tabor welcomed 538 new and returning students from around the world to kick off the 147th academic year at the School by the Sea.

Leading up to Registration Day on Sunday, September 3, 2023, international students, student leaders, and the Class of 2024 arrived back in Marion starting Thursday, August 31. On Friday, while the Senior class boarded school buses and ventured to Camp Burgess for a leadership retreat, student leaders settled into their dorms and participated in Global Partners and Navigator trainings, including a “Leadership Lab.”

In the Leadership Lab, Seawolves worked with Charlie Kuhn, Co-Founder and CEO of Cultures of Dignity. Cultures of Dignity is an organization that works with communities to shift how we think about young people’s physical and emotional wellbeing. During the Leadership Lab, Seawolves focused on three things: understanding the difference between dignity and respect, finding support in various leadership roles, and gaining confidence in facilitating hard conversations. Tabor’s Director of Community Wellbeing Chris Howes intends to offer more labs throughout the school year.

"I think this year’s Leadership Lab was a nice first step in establishing a unified approach to leadership and leadership development. Students jumped in with both feet and were engaged throughout the weekend. Again, this was a first step in establishing a shared language and approach to leadership at Tabor Academy, and we look forward to continued growth this year and for many years to come. The weekend concluded with the student leaders deciding to focus their attentions this year on 'Building community with Trust and Communication.' We look forward as adult advisors to these groups in helping them set goals to tackle this challenge throughout the year," says Howes.

On Sunday, September 3, the sun shone warmly over Sippican Harbor. Student leaders met faculty and staff in Wickenden Chapel as Head of School Tony Jaccaci got them excited for the day ahead. It didn’t take long for the anticipation and excitement to spread from Chapel to the rest of campus. Starting at 8 am, new students arrived in tightly packed cars accompanied by their families, friends, and even their pets. Navigators greeted the community in bright orange, making them easy to spot for those who had questions. On the back of their shirts read the school motto—All-A-Taut-O—reflecting their role as leaders to help classmates successfully launch their Tabor experience. There was also a special appearance from Sammy the Seawolf, who danced into everyone’s hearts.

After all the necessary paperwork was filled out, all the prox cards were received, and dorms were all moved into, new students gathered in Chapel for a “Head of School Welcome” before saying one last goodbye to their families. After tearful hugs and laments of “see you soon,” students ate in the dining hall while a new family luncheon was hosted on the Benenson Terrace of the Travis Roy Campus Center. In the afternoon, it was time for returning students and their families to join the rest of their peers. The day ended with student activities, like scavenger hunts and food trucks, and a Class of 2024 Parent Gathering at Brew Fish. It was a great day to be a Seawolf!

Registration Day was followed by Orientation on Monday, September 4, and Seawolves walked through what a typical day at Tabor looks like. They went to each of their classes, checked in with advisory, attended meetings for athletics and co-curriculars, and found their seats for Chapel and All-School. After the academic day ended, there were class bonding activities along the waterfront. Tuesday was the first official day of classes. Students wore formal dress and attended Convocation in Chapel. There, they listened to student performances and readings, and speeches from the Co-Heads of School, Taylor Darby ’24 and Julian Badger ’24, and from Mrs. Sughrue and Mr. Jaccaci.

Throughout the rest of the week, Seawolves will continue to settle into life at Tabor. Like every year, the 2023-2024 school year holds enormous potential for the School by the Sea. Thank you to the entire Tabor community for making the opening of the school a success; we can’t wait to see where students and faculty will lead us and how they will make waves! Please enjoy the slideshow below for a glimpse into Tabor’s Opening of School.