On Saturday we held the annual retreat for our Seed board of directors. I don’t often write about the board, since our work is primarily behind the scenes. The board is a guardian of the Seed, looking out for everything from the annual budget to the school’s long range vision. Primarily Seed parents, either current or past, the board also includes community members who believe in the Seed’s mission. Terms are for up to six years, and one of our directors, Kelly Rawlings, just completed her term. Kelly was a Seed parent for several years and served as the board chair for the past four years. Over the years, each of our chairs made his or her significant contribution to the Seed history. Kelly’s was the five-year strategic plan that has guided us through an important transitional time.
When we first started talking about creating a strategic plan, I wasn’t sure what that meant. Through conversations that included parents, staff, board, and community members, strategic planning became a living experience. More than anything, it’s given focus to our work. Our strategic priorities for 2015-2019 are as follows:
- ensure financial sustainability
- maximize enrollment and retention while exploring expansion
- implement a targeted and compelling marketing and communications strategy
- build capacity to measure the magic and demonstrate impact
- serve as a leading educational resource by continuing to develop and leverage internal expertise
The intention of the retreat was to introduce our four new board members to the strategic plan and review progress. We acknowledged all of the excellent work done thus far, and discussed how we want to move forward from this point on. We set a schedule for the coming year to begin accomplishing this task.
Although no one is on the board for the glory, the retreat was inadvertently a celebration of our strategic plan collaboration, with Kelly’s guidance. For four years the stakeholders of the Seed community have kept at the goals with visible results, such as our new sign, an updated website, expanded funding sources, and a more visible community presence. We continue to seek ways to improve self-assessment and evaluation to better serve our families.
During the time I’ve known Kelly, she introduced me to the phrase, “May we be.” I’ve thought of this phrase often while reflecting on these past four years. To me, the phrase is a call to our higher selves to be our very best each and every day. It’s an invitation to be the light that will heal the whole world. Living with this standard of integrity requires much of a person. Having people like Kelly, and the rest of the board, eases the load considerably.