From the Board: A Productive Meeting on the Grounds


The St. Paul’s School Board of Trustees convened on the grounds for its annual spring meeting from May 3 to 5. The board elected a new member, reviewed admission and college placement results, and approved the School’s next fiscal year budget. Over the course of the three days, trustees met with faculty, students, and staff, conducted a full agenda of board business, and attended faculty and student presentations. A summary of the meeting follows.

Board Appointments
Tim Steinert ’78 was elected to the board by unanimous vote. Reeve Waud ’81, P’09,’12 will serve an additional year as treasurer. The following trustees were elected for additional three-year terms:
•    Doug Asano ’92; Matthew Baird ’83, P’21; Julian Cheng ’92; Archie Cox, Jr. ’58; Kate Gellert ’89; Sol Kumin ’94; and Noelle Kwok ’98. 

School Updates
•    A committee of 15 members representing the New England Association of School and Colleges (NEASC) visited in April as part of the School’s accreditation process. A final report is expected in June.
•    An internal needs assessment conducted between September and March identified and prioritized financial aid, the limitations of Memorial Hall and other performing arts facilities, and a new residence hall to replace the shortcomings of Kitt.
 •    The School has begun its preparations for the recognition of 50 years of coeducation. Dean of Chapel Alice Courtright, Alumni Association Executive Director Alisa Barnard ’94, and Vice Rector for School Life Theresa Ferns ’84, Ph.D., will lead the planning for the celebration.
•    The progress toward a more robust civic engagement program has taken initial steps with a focus on SPS student mentorship in the wider community. Programs in the areas of filmmaking, robotics, and tutoring are planned for this fall. 
•    The Crumpacker Gallery is scheduled to open on time and on budget for the 2018-19 academic year. The first exhibition will celebrate the work of painter and longtime former faculty member Tom Barrett, founder of the School’s Fine Arts Program. His son, artist Kedron Barrett ’79, will curate the show.

Presentation Highlights
Rector Hirschfeld detailed challenges boarding schools face and the potential of the Integrated Curriculum to meet them. Theresa Ferns ’84, Ph.D., and Lawrence Smith, dean of teaching and learning, presented on the School’s progress toward its implementation. Faculty members Ashley Zanca (mathematics) Julie Cepiel (science) and Kate Daniels (director of academic support) demonstrated the School’s approach in action, in house life, the classroom, and athletics. Calling it Integrated Curriculum in action, Smith then introduced five Fifth Form students who presented their original research analyzing the effects of race, political affiliation, socioeconomic status, gender, and sexual orientation on classroom dynamics.

Gift Policy in Review
The board is considering revising the gift policy to require a two-thirds majority vote in naming – or removing the name – of a building or fund.

The board approved the 2018-19 operating budget of $55,888,414. The Grounds and Buildings Committee recommended – and the board approved – a $7,224,079 CAPEX budget for the next fiscal year. Endowment performance is up 7.6 percent for the nine months ended March 31, and is outperforming the Cambridge Associates Universe Index.   

Rector Search
The board met with the principals of search firm Spencer Stuart. As part of the Search Committee’s process, spring information sessions for alumni and parents were held in New York, Washington, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and online. All are encouraged to complete the survey at here. The board expects to complete the search this fall.

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