Third-Fourth Quarter Update, July 2013

Dear Members of the Archmere Community:

I am excited to provide you with a “third-fourth quarter” update of the 2012 Strategic Plan for Archmere Academy. Our fiscal fourth quarter ended June 30. I thought it would be less confusing to keep the quarterly updates consistent with the quarters of the fiscal year, although we began implementing the Plan after the first quarter of 2012.


Mission

This past June, 39 Archmere students and eight faculty chaperones participated in a newly developed summer leadership program at Saint Norbert College. It was a remarkable experience on many levels. I shared some of my thoughts in last month’s post on my Headmaster’s Blog. The administration and inaugural group of participants will assess the experience with our Saint Norbert College colleagues, with the hope of establishing the Saint Norbert Leadership Corps program (SNLC) as a regular tradition.

We continue to assess our religion department curriculum to ensure that class discussion integrates and expresses the school’s mission. We are working to develop a more effective infrastructure in the coming school year to support liturgical creativity with the addition of new Campus Minister Mr. Bill Gabriel. We are grateful for the work and support of Mr. Michael Johnson, who leaves the position of Campus Minister to teach mathematics full-time this coming school year. He will continue to be a wonderful resource to advance the work of campus ministry.

We have also built a new reflective space for students. A quad located between the Science Center and the Patio has walking paths and a reflection area, which will be the site of the Stations of the Cross.

In hiring new faculty and staff for the new school year, we have had discussions with the applicants to ensure that they have an understanding of our mission, and are able and willing to embrace how it is valued and reflected daily.

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Academic Excellence
Principal Mr. John Jordan, in collaboration with Director of Curriculum & Instruction Mr. Tim Dougherty, have worked with Department Chairs and faculty to develop an enhanced day schedule for the new school year to better accommodate students’ curriculum choices.

Mathematics teacher Mr. Ethan Levine has created a pilot program for distance learning with an 8th grade advanced math class at Holy Child Academy in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.

Director of Technology and chemistry teacher Mr. Carl Campion ’76 has completed a comprehensive Technology Plan for Archmere, which takes into account staffing, academic programs, administrative needs, and both hardware and software resources. In addition, he is leading the initiative behind the Phase II release of the school’s website that will complete the plan to create a “virtual” Archmere community. Mr Campion has developed this multi-year vision, and I am grateful for his leadership and his support of all faculty and staff technology training and professional development on using technology effectively in an academic setting.

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Teachers & Staff
A committee of 17 faculty, staff, and administrators are meeting to discuss the details of a compensation model that will include both merit-based salary increases and an evaluation of benefits that best meet the needs of all staff. The discussion will conclude with recommendations in the early fall.

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Alumni Engagement
Congratulations to the newly-elected Alumni Council, who have already begun the work of reviewing the Alumni Association to enhance service and engagement of Archmere alumni. Shortly after their election, the Alumni Council members voted on a slate of officers of the Association. I am excited to work with the Association leadership coordinated by President Mr. Michael Hare ’79, Vice President Mrs. Marisa Cole Facciolo ’93, Secretary Mr. David Kubacki ’93, Treasurer Mr. Dennis Lynch ’82, and Past President Mr. Marc Albero ’91.

Sincere thanks to the work of the Ad Hoc Committee of alumni, board members and administrators:

  • Rebecca Baeurle, Archmere Representative
  • Rich Beck ’82, Board Liaison
  • Marty Devine ’74, Alumni Representative
  • Brenna Dolphin ’03, Alumni Representative
  • Maria Rosini Gunther ’92, Chair
  • Michael Hare ’79, Board Liaison
  • Bill Larson ’04, Alumni Representative
  • Emily Leach ’01, Chair
  • Matt Manlove ’97, Alumni Representative
  • Erin McNichol ’92, Archmere Representative
  • TJ Voell ’89, Alumni Representative

The committee studied the structure and by-laws of the alumni association, which led to elections and an enhanced association model. With this model, we hope to broaden alumni engagement and support.

The energy and ideas of the alumni are critical to the success of Archmere!

Exploring technology to enhance reach, we were able to stream Commencement Exercises for the first time to relatives of 2013 Archmere graduates. This successful experiment might be expanded to sharing other signature events on campus with Archmere community members who are unable to join us in person.

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Financial Sustainability
Office of Institutional Advancement
We continue to improve and enhance our data and information for alumni, parents, parents of graduates, grandparents and friends. Data Manager Mrs. Amber Combs has been judiciously accumulating and researching data to improve the accuracy and timeliness of our data updates. It is a challenging task that she has addressed with sharp acumen and great gentility.

Advancement Director Mrs. Katherine Ball-Weir, who joined the Advancement Staff in September 2012, has brought to the advancement team her experience in the field of planned and deferred giving. She has been working with Dr. John Flynn ’60, past board member and Alumni Association President, and current trustee of the Archmere Trust and Planned Giving Chair. Together they have initiated a more active planned giving program that recognizes and celebrates benefactors who have made planned gifts to Archmere, naming them members of The Founder Society. Additionally, Mrs. Ball-Weir has also been working with individual donors to establish and reinvigorate donor-directed scholarship funds, which raise the sights and increase endowment for current and prospective students.

Advancement Director Mrs. Rebecca Baeurle has been working with volunteers to accomplish Archmere Fund goals and annual giving objectives. In concert with Mothers’ Guild, Fathers’ Club, Alumni Association, and the volunteer campaign committee for the Archmere Fund, Mrs. Baeurle has directed a very successful effort to achieve all our fund raising goals for the year. In her second year as Advancement Director at Archmere, Mrs. Baeurle has successfully accomplished fund raising goals with the help of the Board Advancement Committee members under the leadership of Chair Mr. Michael Hare ’79 and other key volunteers. She has also welcomed and effectively collaborated with Mrs. Ball-Weir in a successful job-sharing arrangement.

I am delighted that both Advancement Directors will be parents of Archmere students in the coming school year – Kate Baeurle ’14 and Alexander Weir ’17!

Admissions
Admissions has enjoyed a very successful year, thanks to the dedicated work of all our faculty and staff, and especially the focused work of a completely new Admissions Staff – Director of Admissions Mrs. Kristin Mumford ’96, Associate Director of Admissions Mr. Drew Cocco ’03, and Ms. Vicki Leon, Assistant to the Headmaster and Admissions Director. It is a tall task to coordinate the operations of a new admissions staff, particularly in a very challenging admissions environment created by a still-recovering economy. Still, with great support from Communications Manager Mrs. Colleen Sabatino and the everyday excellence of our faculty and staff, we generated an over-subscribed freshman class of 134 students with a waiting list. Specifically, new initiatives such as the 7th Grade Open House in April, 7th Grade Practice Test, and Auk recruiters and student club have all succeeded in expanding our applicant pool.

Enrollment has climbed to its highest point since 2008.

Lastly, Mrs. Sabatino has been working hard to expand Archmere’s online marketing efforts through search engine optimization techniques. We are happy to hear that many alumni and prospective parents are finding the school’s website to be informative and useful.

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I am energized to summarize all these accomplishments, and I am grateful for the help and support of so many that make Archmere Academy a truly special community and a great place to be for students, parents, teachers and staff, alumni, parents of graduates, and friends.