The Weekly Bulldog
October 18, 2018
From Tim: Reaching New Summits
Like all independent schools, Stanley BPS is governed by a Board of Trustees, whose fundamental role is to oversee and protect the mission of the school. The Board has the ultimate fiduciary responsibility for the school, beyond the financial implications usually associated with the word. “Fiduciary” actually means “to hold in trust,” and that phrase does a good job of capturing the Board’s full charge. The Board’s function is strategic, with a forward-looking approach to the school’s challenges and opportunities. We are fortunate that Stanley has a tradition of being governed by Boards that have demonstrated thoughtful, caring stewardship of our school. Despite incredible growth and change in Stanley over many years, our Boards have kept us true to our mission and core values.
Last week, six members of our Board of Trustees and several members of our senior administrative team attended the annual ACIS Leadership Conference. The gathering provides school leaders with the chance to discuss current independent school challenges and opportunities with others from all over the state. This year’s theme of “Shaping a Culture of Innovation and Engagement” prompted reflection on how we’re continuing to prepare students for a world that in many ways is hard to imagine. There were also a number of breakout sessions on elements of Board functions- governance, marketing, and development in particular.
This year’s conference keynote speaker was NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) Chief Innovation Officer Tim Fish. Using a mountain climbing metaphor, he talked about the importance of continually setting clear, ambitious goals (“reaching new summits” in his model) to keep schools moving forward. It’s easy for schools to become complacent and stuck in the way we’ve always done things, particularly in the absence of an immediate impetus for change. One “summit” on our current journey is how we’ll implement the vision captured in our Strategic Plan 2020. Specifically, the core challenges of our ascent will be how we’ll best support our faculty, compensation and otherwise, how we’ll ensure the integrity of our British Primary philosophy in the future, how we’ll evolve programming to enhance the student experience, and how we’ll continue to shape our physical space to meet educational objectives. We’ll have plenty more to say about each of these, though it was affirming to reflect on Stanley’s priorities in the context of Mr. Fish’s remarks and his perspective from our national association.
All the best,
Top Five Things
1. Can emotional intelligence be taught?
3. Run in honor of a boy and his Stanley family
5. Make after-school time enriching!