Updates and Timelines from Board Co-Chairs Ann Balderston and Richard Yates
Dear AC Community,
As we continue to both listen and be transparent with you about the future of AC, we wanted to share a brief update of expected timelines on several important topics.
Succession Plan: With Mick Gee, our current Head of School, leaving AC at the end of this academic year, the Board is working on a leadership succession plan and transition process. We are fortunate to have a talented and strong administrative Leadership Team in place that has guided AC through a challenging spring and emerged on the other side of summer committed to moving the school forward on all fronts. With this, we are looking for a Head of School who has an eye towards our current context but who is also committed to continuing the path we are on with respect to our academic program. Given the school’s need to work quickly and nimbly to develop a multi-year financial plan over the next few months, we have made the decision to appoint an Interim Head of School for the 2020-2021 school year. Because this is an interim position, the search process is different than a traditional Head of School search. Four Trustees; Richard Yates (Co-Chair), Ann Balderston (Co-Chair), Diana Clarkson ’99, and Lisa Campbell ’83, P’18, P,’20 will conduct the Interim Head of School search with the goal of having the Board make an appointment by the end of November 2019. The position description will be posted soon, and we will continue to update you all as warranted. In mid-2020, a search process for the permanent Head of School will be developed and communicated.
Financial Plan: We will be submitting our multi-year financial plan to NYSAIS (New York State Association of Independent Schools) for our accreditation by December 15th. As we’ve shared, in anticipation of a merger, NYSAIS approved a one-year accreditation given that AC was not going to operate as an independent entity beyond June 30th, 2020. Now that we are not merging, we will be working with NYSAIS to extend our accreditation. A task force is being created to develop our financial plan along with input from financial experts, the Division Heads, staff members, and the Board. Upon submission to NYSAIS (December 15th), we will share a high-level overview of this plan.
Fundraising: Our fundraising goal for the remainder of 2019 is to raise at least $4 million by December 31st. To achieve this goal, we officially launched our fundraising campaign, StandWithAC, the week of August 26th, and we are working multiple tracks, including direct mail, special events, and one-on-one meetings with interested donors. Even before launching a strategic fundraising effort, we received many gifts from parents, alumni, and friends and we continue to be inspired by the progress we’re making as gifts come in daily. We will update you on the progress of our fundraising efforts after each monthly Board meeting.
We greatly appreciate the many notes and words of encouragement you have shared over the past few months as well as your generous campaign gifts that are rolling in. We are confident we will be able to meet our goals and build a financially sustainable future for AC. We all feel fortunate to be part of this vibrant, caring, and extraordinary community.
Ann Balderston P’04, P’07, P’10 Richard Yates P’15
Co-Chair, Board of Trustees Co-Chair, Board of Trustees