September 11, 2014

As we near the 3rd Annual Rivermont Collegiate Founder's Day Fun Run, which includes the PreSchool-Junior Kindergarten Fun Run as well as the famous Imp/Tiger Fun Run,  the faculty and I usually receive a few questions on what is this Imp/Tiger thing all about? "I know what a Tiger is, but what exactly is an Imp?"

Given St. Katharine's roots with the Episcopal Church, it is not surprising that the tradition of school "houses", a mainstay of English boarding schools, took hold on our campus early on in it's history. Designed as a way to enhance school spirit, student comradery, and foster a mentor-ship culture where older more experienced students help and befriend those just starting out, the tradition of Imp & Tiger remains a cherished tradition at our school.

Each fall, as new students are sorted into their houses, the campus is a buzz with Imp Strength and Tiger Pride. And it is not just limited to our students and faculty, alumni are just as passionate in support of their house; as the end of year tug-of-war certainly gives testament. In fact, alumni often will identify their house alongside their association with our school. "Good Morning, I graduated from St. Katharine's/St. Marks and I was a Tiger" is not an uncommon phrase. What makes this tradition so special, is the instant connection across generations that continues to inspire our current student body. This was clearly seen during this week's Middle School history class where Dr. Nancy Bookidis, a world renowned Greek Archaeologist spoke live to our students via Skype from Greece. Dr. Bookidis, a class of 1956 St. Katherine alumna reflected back on her time as IMP team captain. The roar from our current IMPs could be heard across the entire Middle School common, as can be heard in minute 3:23 on the video here.  

Traditions such as Imp/Tiger are part of the fabric of our shared school history. They remind us of the bond we share not just across our current Rivermont family, but with past and future generations. As students don their Imp Green or Tiger Orange shirts next week, they affirm their connection to school tradition and fellowship that they will carry with them long after they depart Rivermont. Oh, and by the way, an Imp is a crafty, sometimes tricky person or child. Think Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Don't forget the 3rd Annual Founders Day Fun Run is on September 19th. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Parents' Council for details. 

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!  

Todd Zachary


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