On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we wanted to thank all parents and students for their commitment to the school. This has been unlike any other year in so many ways, but at the same time, the Board is continuing its work and responsibilities to the school. Before we move into the work the Board has been engaged in, we wanted to say a big thank you to two trustees who stepped down from the Board.
First, a big thank you to Will Moncrieff for his service and commitment to the Board. We are so thankful that Will joined the board in the summer of 2016. For the past four years, Will brought forth many important wellness and safety initiatives for our students and guides. In addition to his board work, he and his family graciously hosted the Community Picnic for three years at their beautiful property by Onion Creek. A big thank you goes out to Will and we wish him the best.
Next, we would like to send a huge thank you to Heather Vickers. Heather joined the Board in the summer of 2015. Within a year of serving, Heather quickly rose to Vice Chair and then chaired the Board from fall 2016 to fall 2019. Within those three years, Heather took a transformative role in the Board. Her attention to detail and dedication helped the school raise over $1 million dollars to purchase the River Buildings and create equitable faculty compensation, both important steps to financial stability for the school. Whether it was the finances, facilities, or marketing, Heather continually brought a level of professionalism and direction to help steer the Board to the place we are today. At the September 3 meeting, the board motioned and approved a resolution in formal recognition and profound appreciation of service dedicated to Heather honoring her leadership as she worked to advance Headwaters School. We will miss Heather and wish her well!
Here are some highlights from the first three Board meetings of the 2020-2021 school year:
This year, the first meeting was on July 23, 2020, an earlier date than the past few summers. At this meeting and over the past six months, the board stayed connected to the school with other committee meetings, too. This meeting served to keep the Board informed of how the school was preparing to start the school year with a focus on what we were learning, enrollment, budget, and how the school was thinking about opening the school year.
Our second meeting of the year was on September 3, 2020.
Our most recent meeting was a special one as we brought many Trustees together in-person on the River Campus Deck for a socially distanced meeting with a few Trustees tuning in virtually. We are so thankful for these efforts of all the Trustees to pilot this type of meeting. This meeting was where we approved the school’s budget for the 2020-2021 school year.
The Board committees have been working hard between meetings and reporting at each full Board meeting. Their work includes:
Facilities: Aaron Levy and Madhu Phillips continue to lead the way with thoughtful analysis of our current facilities and recommendations for the future. The main focus is the Creek Site plan, with a goal of an in-depth facilities plan for the entire school.
Head Support and Evaluation: Chair Julia Cuba Lewis continues to use assessment tools for self-assessment of the Trustees and their efficacy. This yearly assessment has become an important way to measure the success of the Board.
Marketing and Enrollment: Jim Rudden, Cheline Jaidar, and Taina Palombo-Price continue to share their knowledge in marketing to showcase our school’s greatest assets to drive enrollment. This has included work with local schools and some changes to how we do open houses. This committee has also been working closely with Amy Nylund and division directors to develop value propositions for each program.
Finance: Chair Jerry Aubin and Treasurer Jessica Rio have been working closely with Alex Penry and Ted Graf as they continue to secure the financial health of the school with a balanced budget fundraising, and beyond.
Next month, the Board will meet on Thursday, November 5 at 5:30 p.m. At this meeting, we will welcome auditors to review the school’s annual audit. The Board will then vote on approval of that audit. Also, by that next meeting, I hope that the Board will be at 100% participation in the Annual Fund. I hope you join us in giving!