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Watching Netflix and chillin' on a Head's Holiday

Justin Oh '25

On the evening of April 26, students were greeted with news worthy of roaring cheers: a Head’s Holiday the following day. Students and faculty alike spent the day in many ways, from catching up on work to relaxing on a beautiful spring day. 

Sean Qin ’25 said, “The Head’s Holiday proved quite helpful, as on Wednesday I was away on a track meet, and so I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish my work.” Classmate Albert Park ’25 said the Head’s Holiday came at a “perfect time,” as he was very sick and also needed the extra time to get caught up on work. 

For others, the extra time was used as a well-earned respite toward the end of the school year. Khanh Nguyen ’25 said, “I immersed myself in the gorgeous nature and enjoyed the chirping of birds on a lovely Thursday morning in Mercersburg.” 

English teacher Kristen Ahlgren responded, “I enjoyed the day off! I slept in a little longer, and I was able to relax at home with my dog Buttercup while I caught up on grading and planning.” 

History teacher David Bell said, "After sleeping in later than usual, I spent most of the day doing schoolwork and then helping some of the senior MAPS students prepare for their presentations.” 

Although this spring Head’s Holiday was welcomed by all, some were disappointed by the lack of a Head’s Holiday in the winter term, especially after the Senior Boxer Bikini Run. Jooa Lee ’23 said she and the other members of her class were largely upset after the Run: “We were really longing for the Head's holiday - this winter was cold and tough on us, so we really wanted it to happen especially when we got an opportunity to directly ask the Head of School for the Head's Holiday.”

About the impromptu nature of the holiday, head of school Quentin McDowell confessed, “This day off was definitely not planned well in advance. I had been thinking about it, but nothing was set until about 9 o’clock the night before. I like to check with academics and student life to make sure that I’m not going to unintentionally make things harder by giving a day off before proceeding. They felt good about the timing, which worked out well.”  

Regarding any future Head’s Holidays, McDowell said, “I like to keep it unpredictable, to be honest. If we have too many, it can take away some of the special nature of the day, but I will always reserve the right to give one when I think it is needed.” 

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