Independent schools like Colorado Academy thrive because of the many devoted groups and constituencies — teachers, parents, students, and alumni — who share a common set of values and a sound and informed vision of education. The school’s mission lies at the heart of this shared vision. Yet, beyond the words of the mission, it takes action and dedication to a firm course of action to advance that mission. For the past ten years, I have been fortunate and grateful to work with an incredible faculty and a visionary leadership team, as well as with talented, supportive, and generous Board of Trustees.
So fortunate are we to have a long-lived culture at CA in which the Board is so wholly committed –individually and collectively — to serving the needs of the school.
Board members at CA serve two terms, each three years in length. As one trustee’s tenure expires, a new trustee takes his or her place, thus ensuring a continuous flow of new people and ideas. The purpose of the board is not to serve as a “backstop” for administrative decisions, but to support leadership’s efforts to provide a quality education and to think carefully about the school’s long-term financial sustainability. They understand their role to take the 30,000-foot view of the organization, as well as to provide the often-unheralded leadership that makes a difference in the everyday life of our students. Each of them is committed to sharing their work, wisdom, and wealth for the benefit of the school’s future. The work of the board — and for me as Head of School — is to think often about how our decisions and actions, or lack thereof, will impact CA 25 to 50 years into the future.
As with many of our multi-year major capital initiatives, our current campaign is the vision of this board. We recognized several years ago our need to look carefully at deteriorating buildings that were limiting programming and impeding our ability to educate and support our students. Board members, in large part, have helped advance this vision and continue to establish the tone with their own integrity, tough questions, actions, and hard work.
In the coming days, the Board will help launch an exciting community challenge and help maintain the momentum toward reaching the $30 million target of See it Through campaign. Designed to improve the artistic and athletic spaces at CA, this campaign is key helping us provide the best possible whole child educational experience. It is, in fact, the culmination of a board vision that was created prior to my arrival ten years ago.
And, it holds true to the board’s belief that the school we have today was built on the hard work and generosity of those who came before us. It is akin to planting a tree not for tomorrow, but for many tomorrows from now when our vision is that CA will continue to provide a top-notch education for the students of our school.
At a recent national school conference, Preston Athey, a trustee at The Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania was honored with the prestigious Seymour Preston Award for his several decades of commitment. Above all, he said, the highest qualification for a trustee at any school is passion – passion for the school’s mission and an understanding that education is the most powerful way to impact the future.
As you receive word in the coming days of the impressive board challenge, I hope you will join them in a commitment to the campaign and to the future of CA students.