This has been the year of the raven!

The raven has been NVS' mascot for many years but this year we've spent time reflecting on why. What is the significance? What characteristics do ravens possess? What can we learn from these magnificent birds?

We discovered that the raven actually chose us rather than the other way around. The tale is told that several years in a row a raven would walk up to the double doors and knock with his beak. He was persistent and dedicated to ensuring everyone knew he was there. It became a game of sorts to wonder when or if he'd come each day. And so, the raven became a symbol of NVS that has continued for many years.

We discovered this year that ravens have many desirable qualities, often resembling qualities of our students. For instance, they are incredibly intelligent, being able to imitate human speech like a parrot as well as recognize and remember facial features (this was fascinating for our students to learn). They are playful, cunning, adaptable, and even seem capable of feeling empathy. Sound familiar? Kids and ravens sure seem to have a lot of similarities.

While we'll never know for sure what happened to THE raven, we do have ravens that visit us often and love to be fed by the students, often waiting for the school doors to open in the morning in hopes of some peanuts to feast on.

Recently, Founder George Thompson wrote a song about NVS that captures the essence of our school including the infamous raven. We've been learning it during our Monday Morning Gather Round. We invite you to join us on a Monday morning to learn it too!

Where Raven's Rule

Here’s where I come (C to B flat to F) Down an old highway, (C to B flat to F) No matter where I’m from, (C to B flat to F) I’m here every day, (C to B flat to F) Where the fields grow tall, (repeat the sequence above) And the streams run clear, In the summer or fall, Any day of the year.

Chorus This is my school, (C to G to A minor to F) My special place, (C to G back to C) Where ravens rule, (C to G to A minor to F) This is my space, (C to G back to C) This is my school, (C to G to C)

In the sun or in the rain, In the meadow or the trees, I’m always on the hunt Standing up or on my knees Whatever I find there, That I’ve never seen before, Opens a brand new world, It’s what our school is for…


Sitting here beside a fire, Hearing songs we’ve learned to sing, A raven’s pecking at the door, The wind is making rafters ring. When sun again comes through the glass Through windows hung so long ago, We remember how the winter’s blast Can make a morning fire glow…


~ Kelly Ellis, Head of School

(Raven painting by Ran Koch)


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