August is a magical month. This time of year I find that summer has worked its way into us and we still have a few weeks remaining in which to savor her good gifts. Here in the Pacific Northwest, these gifts can be found in the golden light of sunsets extending for long lingering hours; the burgeoning of cherry tomatoes or summer squash in our gardens and on our balconies; or the sun-ripened blackberries that fill every nook and cranny of our neighborhoods.

Amidst these August weeks we also feel the nearness of fall, the coming of September, and the mystery and anticipation of what the new academic year will bring. August could be said to be a liminal space in the calendar year, a threshold between seasons in which we savor what has been while wonder grows for what is yet to be. These days I am feeling this mystery all the more as we anticipate and prepare to welcome a new group of students and begin the year together.

I would venture to say that each of you incoming students is dwelling in a liminal space of your own – lingering at the threshold of who you have known yourself to be and who you are becoming; of where you have been and where you are going. Whether you have been in a literal process of moving this summer or you will be remaining in familiar places physically, when classes start in September we will all be entering into a new season of growth and discovery.

The staff and faculty are deep in the work of preparing for the coming school year, planning events to welcome and orient new and returning students into our learning community. All incoming students received an email from me last week containing information about your Frameworks & Intersections course that launches in Populi this week as well as important dates and an introduction to your matriculation team! Check your student inboxes and let us know if you did not receive this email.

The Office of Students & Alumni team works together with the Academics team to support you as you matriculate and begin school this fall. Here, again, is an introduction to your matriculation team! You will be hearing from each of these folks in the coming weeks:

The Office of Students & Alumni Team

I am Becca Shirley, Manager of Student Life Programs, she/her ( You will continue to hear from me about details related to New Student Orientation and (Re)Orientation as well as about other student life events throughout the year. I also work with our student leadership teams and manage the Nourish Market campus store. I am on campus and in the store on a regular basis to be available whenever you want to chat.

Daniel Tidwell-Davis, Manager of Accessibility and Vocational Programs, he/they (

Daniel works one-to-one with students around vocational discernment, accessibility, and academic accommodations. If you have an academic accommodation related to a learning or physical disability and have not yet talked to Daniel, make sure to email him to set up a time soon! Daniel also works with our underrepresented student groups to provide resources, support, and connections for our underrepresented students (BIPOC students, LGBTIQA+ students, Students with Disabilities, non-Christian students, International students, etc.).

Paul Steinke, Vice President of Student & Alumni Development and Dean of Students and Alumni, he/him (

Paul leads the OSA team, serves on the Executive Council, and is a pastor to students, alumni, and the systems that impact them both at The Seattle School. You will receive an email from Paul related to our life together as a learning community and inviting you to community-wide events.

The OSA team works in partnership with the Academics team:

Ligaya Avila, Academic Programs and Financial Services Coordinator, she/her (

Ligaya is the primary point of contact for Financial Aid for all students, low-residency and on campus. Ligaya is also the Residency Coordinator for low-residency students. If you’re enrolled in a low-residency program, you will be receiving emails soon from Ligaya with information related to your upcoming fall residency (September 14-September 17).

Kelsey Wallace, Associate Registrar, she/her (

Many of you have likely been in touch with Kelsey as you have enrolled and begun registering for classes. Email Kelsey for academic advising or if you have questions related to forms, academic policies, course planning, school/life balance, and more.

Each of us is available by email, phone, or Zoom to address your questions as they arise.

We are so glad you are here! And we look forward to seeing you soon!