Cavalier is a noun defined in four ways according to Merriam-Webster:
1 : a gentleman trained in arms and horsemanship
2 : a mounted soldier : KNIGHT
3 capitalized : an adherent of Charles I of England
4 : a lady's escort or dancing partner
But what does a Cavalier mean on the campus of Calvary Day School? To me, I’ve witnessed many students, parents, and alumni show qualities of what I would define as a Cavalier.
Before the Christmas break, Dr. Taylor showed appreciation for the Calvary Staff by raffling off some awesome prizes. This year the ‘grand’ prize was a 65 inch flat screen television. Our new middle school math teacher, Lisa Polychrones’s, name was drawn right before everyone was dismissed for the Christmas holiday. The only thing standing between our staff and well deserved time off was a short walk to their cars. Instead of rushing out the door, 2003 Calvary graduates and current administrative staff, Cory Martin and Phillip Lee both offered to help Mrs. Polychrones without her asking. Serving others is certainly one of the ways I would define being a Cavalier.
On Tuesday after chapel, I have to walk through the parking lot behind the A building because my son and his 3-k class play on the playground closest to the High School Building. While he has been at the Calvary Early Learning Center since he was two years old, he still loses his mind when he sees my wife or I on campus and can’t go with us. But as I walk the long way back to my office, I watched Calvary High School students interact with the three-year-olds. A few of the three-year-old boys will stand against the fence begging the high schoolers for a high five. I witnessed our senior football Georgia Tech commit, D’Quan Douse, go down the line giving every three-year-old his attention. One of the last three-year-olds in the line was Bryson Lee (son of Phillip ’03 and Natalie Paris ‘08 Lee). He had his fist out, and Douse met him with the appropriate fist bump. Bryson lit up with a huge smile. My son, Nelson, who had already received a high five earlier in the line, ran to the end of the fence line to seek his fist bump like Bryson, but Douse had already started moving toward the High School Building. When D’Quan saw Nelson, he turned back and met Nelson’s fist with his. Nelson turned to Bryson and smiled as they both ran to the monkey bars discussing the awesomeness that just took place. Douse’s actions were those of a Cavalier.
Few will forget Florida’s Douglas High School shooting that claimed the lives of seventeen students in February of 2018. In light on that event and others like it, Calvary alumni Lacy Hendrix Allen ‘99 and Mary Ann Duffy Dewberry ‘99 felt the need to do something to increase the security on Calvary’s campus. They met with the school’s administration about their concern. A plan was put into place to increase the security on campus, but the almost $400,000 price tag was not in the budget. Lacy and Mary Ann came up with the idea to host a dancing competition fundraiser to support the security project. They presented concern, followed up with a plan, and put that plan into action. Dancing with the Calvary Stars will take place in the Tippett Gym on February 9th, 2019. These Calvary graduates have both shown what it means to be a Cavalier.
So maybe Merriam-Webster’s definition and Calvary Day School’s definition aren’t very far off. Being a Cavalier means thinking of others before yourself as Phillip and Cory did, being gentlemen. It means being a humble hero like a Knight, as D’Quan did for those three-year-olds. A Cavalier is one who sees a need and meets it like Lacy and Mary Ann. Mary Ann will also dance as a Cavalier in the Dancing with the Calvary Stars competition.
Whether it is coming back to speak at Career Day, serving as volunteer security on campus, or simply making time to serve others, I encourage you all to strive to be more like a Cavalier in 2019.
Gordon Hunter is the Director of Development for Calvary Day School. He believes that all Christians are called to give: give of your talents, time and resources. Deuteronomy 16:17 “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given to you.”
Calvary Day School offers a Christ-centered educational experience for grades Pre-K – 12 through the development of the total student- spiritually, academically, socially, and physically. We provide the best, most affordable private education in Savannah, Georgia.