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A Reflection at the Conclusion of our 60th

The celebration of Saint David’s 60th anniversary year was marked by many notable events—the celebratory Mass at St. Ignatius Loyola, the cutting of our huge birthday cake during Founders Week in February, the special edition retro 1951 athletic shirt, a festive anniversary open house for alumni and alumni parents, our commitment to building a school in Ethiopia, the all-school photo in front of 12 East 89th Street capturing the boys and their teachers at a special moment in time and, of course, the stellar year of teaching and learning, to name just a few. The aesthetic, our commitment to seek and find beauty—the essence of life—in all we do, defined the broad parameters of our year. We reminded ourselves that to find beauty we often need to dig below the  surface; we need to be constantly seeking it, so as not to miss it completely.

Community is not so much defined by common or shared belief, but more, by shared action—what we choose to do together. In developing our strategic vision six years ago, the school identified three goals it felt were essential to ensuring the school’s continued success: our ability to attract and retain exceptional teachers, our commitment to socio-economic diversity, and our ability to allocate physical plant resources to meet the growing needs of our program.  We decided to tackle the first two goals immediately while continuing to explore and plan for the third. Never had the school focused a campaign so deliberately on what happens inside the walls of the school—on the teachers and the boys. Combined with the internal Faculty Initiative and the Curriculum Initiative—both major overhauls and enhancements of the professional development, supervision and evaluation programs, and the curriculum, Continuing Our Best Traditions: A Campaign for Saint David’s Teachers and Boys was launched.

Led by Jamie Singleton, Bill Tyree and Joan Rex, the Capital Campaign Committee met monthly for several years developing and executing campaign strategy.  Their tireless efforts on behalf of the boys and the school epitomize our definition of community. Their commitment to achieving the lofty goals of the largest campaign in the school’s history is testimony to the power of shared action. Behind the Capital Campaign Committee stood the Development Committee under the insightful leadership of Allen Sperry and Tom Humphrey, and behind them the support and thoughtful stewardship of the Board, led first by Gene Williams, who helped launch the campaign, and succeeded by Marc Robert ’74, who helped bring it to a most successful conclusion.

Remarkably, our 60th year saw not only the successful closure of the campaign, but also 100 percent participation in our annual fund drive. The attainment of 100 percent participation in the annual fund of any not-for-profit is a notable achievement; to do it twice during a major campaign cycle, is almost unheard of. Led by Aisha Haque, Midge Brogan, and April Shelton, the Annual Fund Committee deserves the collective praise of our community as well. And behind all of these committees is the Development Office of Saint David’s. Led by Maureen Barry with the support of RoseMarie Alfieri, John Dearie ’95, J.P. Hormillosa, and William Rosario, the office rose to the challenge of simultaneously managing two major initiatives without losing the unique spirit of Saint David’s. I find myself these days continually in awe of the personal investment, talent, wisdom, and generosity of all members of the Saint David’s School community. 

Our boys are fortunate indeed. The beauty of our community, the aesthetic of our mission, was on display for all to see in this our 60th year. How proud our founders would be. Excelsior, Saint David’s!
 

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