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Posted on Sep 15, 2011

Board President Welcomes Families to a New Year

September 15, 2011

The following is this evening’s Back to School Night address from the President of the Board of Trustees, Annette Bradbury. Hello everyone and welcome to Back to School Night. My name is Annette Bradbury and I am the President of the Board of Trustees.  I’m the parent of a fifth grader and a Gillispie graduate who’s now in high school. As this is my sixth and final year on the Board, I’m delighted to announce that Gaylene Xanthopoulos will be taking over as Board President next year. Gaylene brings a wealth of experience and wisdom and I’m excited to see her leadership skills at work guiding the Board of Trustees over the following two years. Gaylene, thank you for taking on the entirely volunteer, sometimes time-consuming, but ultimately very rewarding role of Board President. I’d like to introduce four new members of the Board: Peter Arrowsmith, Kelly Kjos, Kristi Pfister, and Mike Ryan. These new trustees have generously agreed to share their energy and use their expertise in law, finance, accounting, and marketing for the benefit of the school. I’d also like to acknowledge the current Board members for their contributions and commitment to the school: Rochelle Bold, Don Carlson, Jack Chitayit, Mary Talbot Fee, Chris Freundt, Briana Lichter, Dave Marino, Jennifer McIlvaine, Tina Nagle, Jeanie Scott, Alex Sun, Haeyoung Tang, and Gaylene Xanthopoulos. The Board is composed of 18 volunteers, both parents and community members, who hold this school, its mission, and its future in trust. The Board has responsibility for the financial and legal security of the school, and for planning strategically for the future. Their job is not to manage the school today, but to create the school from which your children’s children will benefit tomorrow. Returning to the Board’s first major responsibility, I am happy to report that Gillispie is in excellent financial health. We finished the year with an operating surplus and a clean bill of health from our third-party auditors. Keeping tuition affordable is a major priority of the Board and we have been able to continue to keep this year’s tuition increase at a historical low of three percent due to careful budgeting and long-term financial planning. The Board’s other major responsibility is to plan strategically for the future. Last year the Board and administration focused on revising the strategic plan to determine what we intend to accomplish over the next three years and how we will direct the organization and its resources toward accomplishing those goals. As part of this process and with input from faculty and parents, we developed a vision of Gillispie in the year 2020:
We love Gillispie! It’s a school where children can’t wait to arrive, never want to leave, and are eager to share their day’s adventures with families and friends. The synergy of forward thinking teachers, administrators, families and mentors provides the nurturing support that allows children to take risks, be creative, and think independently. Encouraged by exemplary and passionate teachers to express their knowledge and opinions, children become lifelong learners and critical thinkers. We use time, financial resources and physical space to create an environment that develops confident, competent children of character.
This vision and the School’s mission statement guided the development of the new strategic plan that will take us through 2014. For example, to support the communications goal of creating top-of-the mind awareness of The Gillispie School, one strategy will be to develop and maintain an alumni relations program. And to support the financial goal of operating from a position of fiscal responsibility and strength, one strategy is to evaluate and develop additional sources of revenue to supplement tuition and donations. The new plan can be viewed on the Gillispie website here. I hope you enjoy this evening’s opportunity to visit with your children’s teachers and learn about the outstanding academics and specialty programs that Gillispie has to offer. Annette Bradbury
 President, Board of Trustees
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