Super Saturday brings Shipley community together

When Maya Overton arrived on the Shipley campus as a shy freshman, she knew Super Saturday was an integral part of the fall season but the one thing she did not realize was to what extent.

“I knew Super Saturday mean a lot to the Shipley community,” Overton said following Shipley’s 2-1 win in girls’ soccer over the Academy of Notre Dame Sept. 19. “I had no idea to what degree. We watch a video the week leading up to Super Saturday and after watching the video I could not wait to see what everyone was talking about freshman year.”

Super Saturday takes place each year bringing the tight knit Shipley community together to help raise monies for the Andrew Jackson School in Philadelphia and The Brain Tree School in Uganda, by holding a carnival in the gymnasium in the morning before turning the focus to Upper School athletics in the afternoon with boys’ & girls’ soccer, field hockey and girls’ tennis taking center stage.

This year’s event was special in its own right with the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Shipley Commons, which the Shipley community has been able to enjoy since school opened in September and the dedication of the Chris Wagner Arts Center to cap off a memorable day.

“Even before school starts everyone anticipates Super Saturday,” said Overton. “Even if you don’t play sports you can come volunteer at the carnival or you can watch the games, cheering as part of the Shipley Swamp, and be part of a very special day.”

Shipley Head of School Steve Piltch added, “In a school that revolves around relationships and a strong sense of community, it was especially rewarding to have so many people -students, parents, colleagues, alumni, and friends of the School – come together for Super Saturday, the Ribbon-Cutting for The Shipley Commons, and the dedication of the Chris Wagner Arts Center.

“I didn’t realize how many people were here until I saw the Avery Silverman Dining Room completely full of people enjoying the community barbecue and then went into Yarnall Gymnasium to see many more students (and parents) still enjoying the Super Saturday fair before going up to our fields to see so many fans (led by our student cheering section known as “The Swamp”) cheering on our teams.

“The energy and enthusiasm were palpable. During the day every part of our mission — educational excellence, love of learning and compassionate participation in the world — was evident for all to see. It may have been the best community day we have ever had. I’m sure that the people who were here will remember it. I know I will.”

While each person has his or her own memory about Super Saturday each year, this year’s event will resonate with Overton for time to come. In four years Overton transformed from a young freshman to an individual who embodies the Shipley philosophy and being named All School President.

The All School President represents the student bodies in the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools to the administration, runs student government and the weekly assemblies, attends alumni council meetings and serves as a spokesperson for the School at public events. More than anything, she serves as a role model for others in School.

“Coming in as a freshman, a shy freshman, and knowing only three people in the community to being a senior year and being voted All-School President is incomparable to anything else,” said Overton, who went to Waldron-Mercy and Stetson Middle School prior to coming to Shipley. “It’s inexplicable. It was a close race and the anticipation was killing me. Just the support I received from everyone in every single grade was amazing and it was a true representation what Shipley is about.”

Piltch said, “During the past few years, it has been a privilege to watch Maya develop into a truly exceptional individual. Blessed with a great mind, a big heart, a keen sense of right and wrong, and a wonderful family, she is a person of principle and conviction. Over time, she has developed the confidence to share her voice, an incredibly strong and persuasive one, with others.

“I was pleased and impressed when Maya took the risk to run for and then become All School President. And though I am not surprised by the quiet passion, integrity and commitment she brings to the job on a daily basis, I am in awe of the impact she has on the community. People look to her with respect and admiration. And, as she continues to grow, we do too! “



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