A to-do list for the year
By Bernie Noe, head of school
Welcome to the new school year at Lakeside, everyone. I hope that you all had a great summer and are rested and ready to dive into classes, sports, arts, and the many activities that make Lakeside’s campus such a busy, engaging place!
I love the start of the school year, as we all—students and adults alike—return each fall with a sense of a new beginning and refreshed optimism about what is to come. We all get to reinvent ourselves slightly each year, as we resolve to improve in areas that proved problematic for us in the past, and much of the time we are successful!
At the outset of this new school year, I’d like to share with you what I will be working on as school head this year.
My overarching goal each year is to make sure that we are achieving day-to-day excellence in all of the school’s programs. I spend much of my time meeting with administrators, teachers, parents and guardians, and students to follow up on projects that we are working on together and to learn about what is going on around the school—especially in the classrooms. The bottom line for me, every year, is that I wish for each of our students to have a great overall academic, athletic, and artistic experience.
Each year we single out particular programs for review if we have not done so in a while or if we feel that the programs have some issues that we wish to address. This year we have chosen for review our diversity and global initiatives. We do not feel that there are major problems with these programs, but we have not reviewed them in several years.
With the retirement of T. J. Vassar ’68, our long-time director of diversity, it is a good time for us to take a thorough look at our diversity efforts before hiring a new director. We will spend the fall consulting with students, parents and guardians, faculty and staff, alumni, and Board members, and will arrive at some conclusions about the course of action we will take over the next three to five years. We will also write a charge for a new director of diversity.
We will begin our review of our global programs in January and, as with the diversity program, will consult with the breadth of our school community about the direction we will take in the coming years. Vicki Weeks ’73, who founded our Global Service Learning (GSL) program, retired at the end of this past school year and so it was time to step back to review where we are with GSL. We will conclude this study in May of 2012.
I believe that you are all aware that during the 2010-2011 school year we conducted an extensive review of our athletic programs and decided to make some significant changes in our coaching structure for this coming school year, appointing program heads who each oversee all aspects of an individual sport across grade levels (find details in Athletic Director Abe Wehmiller’s story
and Board Chair Connie Ballmer’s story
in Inside Lakeside
). I will work with Abe, as well as with Middle School Director Anne Stavney and Upper School Director Than Healy, to implement those changes this year. We are excited about what this new approach to athletics could mean for our students!
Finally, I will spend a good bit of time, along with school leaders, working on budgeting issues. It is our goal to keep costs down and to ask ourselves continually if we are being good stewards of our school’s resources.
So, folks, that is where I will be putting my energy this year. If you have any questions or comments about any of this, please feel free to e-mail or call me.
See you all in the next few weeks at games, performances, and back-to-school nights! Enjoy the fall!