“We all do better when we all do better.” Attributed to the late Minnesota senator Paul Wellstone, the premise holds for all communities. When the whole prospers, the individual benefits. The premise also connects general prosperity with virtuous behavior. Last year at CCES, the happiness quotient soared. Last year everyone “did better”: From opening faculty meetings through the closing chapel and brunch, harmony, optimism, and cooperation reigned. Together we could move mountains. This “can-do” spirit was spearheaded by a set of energetic administrators newly embracing leadership positions at CCES. They led by example and stressed positive thinking and gratitude for being at CCES. The positive spirit among our faculty and staff was contagious. High morale translated into high performance.
As you may have read about in the fall issue of Highlights, we newly configured our administrative organization to heightened nimbleness and improved comprehensive oversight of our academic program. With seven reports to the Headmaster, down from fifteen, decisions were made by teams responsible for operations at the ground level.
Instruction and curriculum came under the leadership of a team supervised by Ted Lutkus, Assistant Headmaster for Academic Affairs. The Advancement team, which includes services of fundraising, alumni and alumni parent relations, marketing, communications, and publications, came under the leadership of Jamie Inman, Assistant Headmaster for Advancement. Finally, Doug Qualls, Assistant Headmaster for Finance and Operations oversees the consolidation of finance, property management and maintenance, human resources, contracts, security, and IT.
The three assistant headmasters work closely together and report to the Headmaster. Streamlined organizational structure produce better results for all customers: students, parent, and faculty.
Others who assumed key leadership positions in 2017-2018 were both internal and external appointments. Molly Miller took over the reins of the athletic department as AD, moving from the dean’s position in the Upper School; Wes Clarke also moved from within, transferring his abundant skills to leading the Upper School as its director after ten years as the Assistant to Pete Sanders. Leigh Johnstone exercised her readiness to lead in her move from being a veteran and esteemed second grade teacher to Director of Admissions, where her team under her leadership welcomed a record enrollment of new students at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. The last link in this distinctive assemblage of leaders is David Johnstone, our new Lower School Director.
Along with new leadership roles came new capital improvements. The Lower School was refreshed externally to comport with the facing of the Hartness Performing Arts Center; the 1973 structure also experienced an internal rebirth with a bright and informative new look: the Strategic Plan logo is prominently displayed; a timeline drawn directly from the 50th anniversary history book written by Allison Warren displays milestones in the school’s lifetime; classroom finishes are softer; and signage is visible and attractive. All in all, the Lower School is buoyed by the renewed energy of the faculty and the colorful surrounding in the halls.
The circle drive in front of the entrance to the athletic and business offices has been resurfaced, the railroad ties removed in front of McCall Field House, replaced by an attractive brick wall, and several parking spaces have been added to ease traffic flow and upgrade appearance.
The final infrastructure improvement was the total renovation of science labs in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. They were upgraded for appearance and functionality, eliciting unbridled exuberance of the Middle School science faculty.
The immense successes of the 2017-18 school year demonstrate what our community can do as a whole. I am confident that as we continue to work together so will we all continue to “do better” for ourselves, for one another, and for CCES.