Introducing AC’s Board Leadership
Dear AC Community,
Last week’s decision by the Allendale Columbia Board of Trustees to not merge with The Harley School brings many opportunities for our school and a chance to reset. Moving forward, together, the Board and I will share our plans with you as things progress and ask for your input; we will need everyone’s help this coming year to collaborate, raise funds, and increase enrollment at AC.
We begin this process today by introducing our 2019-2020 Board leadership. Leading us as board co-chairs are Richard Yates and Ann Balderston. Our co-vice chairs are Mary Beth Conway and Becky Wehle ‘90. All of these individuals are current or former parents of AC students and have lead and/or served on the AC board.
I think it’s important to share that as the leadership of the 2018-2019 Board was investigating the possibility of a merger, a board-appointed contingency committee was exploring all other options in case Allendale Columbia or Harley decided not to move forward with the acquisition. Both Richard and Ann served on this contingency committee. After an extensive due diligence process and indications of some financial support, the Board decided it was best to remain independent and not proceed with a merger. The Board is now moving forward with the contingency plan that will continue to be developed for the long-term financial sustainability of the school. We will reinvent ourselves operationally and make necessary changes to achieve long-term success.
As I shared with you in May, I will be taking a new Head of School position in Utah next July. This academic year, I will be here at AC, ready to provide our students with an incredible education and a fulfilling, fun experience they cannot get anywhere else in Rochester. We need to increase our fundraising efforts and expand our enrollment, and I know that I can count on you to help us succeed. The Board will address a formal search process for a Head of School in the coming months, and you will hear more about this search in the future from Richard and Ann.
I know there are questions about next steps, fundraising goals, how to get involved, and more. We are putting together a list of FAQs and working on future plans for a Town Hall meeting to share information. Our goal is to be transparent, collaborative, communicative, and as efficient and effective as possible.
Please keep an eye out for another communication this week that will come from our new Board co-chairs Richard Yates and Ann Balderston with a status update, where you can find more information, and a list of FAQs we are able to answer at this time. It will be sent from the Board of Trustees email address: ACBoardofTrustees@
Lastly, I wish to express my deep appreciation to all of you for the many emails, calls, posts, and conversations that you’ve shared over the past week expressing your excitement for the year to come. We feel your energy, we are thankful for you, and we’re ready to get started!
Head of School