School Director Notes | January 2016

jane_zeender2015Dear SMWS Community,

Welcome back to school and to the promise of what 2016 will bring us! I always love the month of January, coming out of the meditative work of the Holy Nights, into a New Year and all the potential that is ahead of us. I feel almost like a turtle, having pulled into my shell during the past few weeks, and slowly poking my head out and re-engaging with the life of our vibrant and passionate community.

2016 is a significant year for my family, as well as our school, especially our High School. Ryan and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this month, my parents their 50th wedding anniversary in July, Ryan his 50th birthday in September, and our High School its 25th anniversary this fall. These milestones bring to mind three values for me – commitment, perseverance, and love – values that I also share in my role as School Director here at Shining Mountain. Commitment to the truth, the Waldorf pedagogy, and your children, perseverance in the face of the challenges we face, and love for all that we hold dear in this community.

We have come through the news of releasing a difficult yet clear audit, one that shows a net loss in assets to our school of about $900,000 last year, and the decisions that have been made for the next school year as a result of these losses. We now have a foundation on which to build, a foundation based on financial clarity and a unified and aligned leadership.

At the All School Community Meeting on Thursday, January 14th at 7:00 PM, we will be sharing our 5 year Strategic Plan with the entire community. This plan is our vision for the future of our school. It is critical to our future that every family is represented. Please join me and the school’s leadership in the Festival Hall at 7 pm to see the exciting future that lies ahead of us and how you can help us create this future for our children.

Our ability to continue to fulfill our mission of providing this unique educational experience for our children is directly dependent on our enrollment. We are entering the new enrollment season, and I strongly encourage each of you to step outside of your comfort zones a bit and introduce yourself to folks you may not recognize. Most likely, these are the potential new families visiting our school, and the more we can show them the amazing community that we are, the stronger our existing community will become. This also includes welcoming the several new families who have enrolled mid-year, as winter can be a tough time to integrate into the life of the school. Thank you in advance for this, as we all know that word of mouth is our greatest marketing outreach.

I look forward to seeing you on Thursday evening, and am excited for what this year will bring!

In love and light,