On Tuesday at assembly I welcomed our community back from March Break and spoke about change as an inevitable reality and the importance of being open to it. I explained that while we were returning to a third term of the 2014-2015 academic year, many of us are tasked with planning beyond the current year- whether it be next year or many years down the road. While my specific examples of change were facilities-based, with a classroom enhancement complete and the announcement of the refurbishment of our East Gym, the notion of change is one that our schools must keep in mind at all times.
This weekend our Administrative Team and our Board of Governors came together for a facilitated generative conversation about the future. The purpose of this gathering was not to determine next steps, or a prescribed ‘road map’, but simply to consider what opportunities lie ahead for St. Clement’s School. Anne-Marie Kee, Executive Director of our Canadian Accredited Independent Schools, attended for part of the morning and shared her research and insights about the future landscape for schools. Anne-Marie’s main message was that schools must be hungry and nimble- such that they are always eager to seek best practices, and able to adapt to the realities of changing times. To be clear, the ability to be nimble and adapt to the future does not mean change for change’s sake. It must and will be grounded in best practice, research and a School’s values.
Reflecting on the day, I was reminded of a quotation that I had sent the day before to our meeting facilitator and our Chair of the Board. The quotation from Warren Bennis, an author and organizational consultant, was, “You need people who can walk their companies into the future rather than back them into the future.” This quotation articulates the same need for hunger and nimbleness.
While the participants in this meeting were our positional leaders, it is evident that we, as a community, must embrace change and its implications such that we are walking St. Clement’s School into the future together.
I left the session excited, buoyed and energized for whatever lies ahead- knowing that St. Clement’s is well positioned to walk together into the future.