by Brendan Sample
After a collaborative effort from the school community, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy officially unveiled its new mission statement in conjunction with the start of the 2017-2018 school year. The initiative was led by Dr. Stephen Druggan, SCH Head of School, who took over the position in July of last year.
“Last year when I arrived … we didn’t have a clear mission,” said Druggan in a Facebook Live interview with former NBC 10 news anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah. “We didn’t really have the values that everyone spoke about; we didn’t have them documented anywhere. So I went to the board and asked permission to put us on the road to clarity.”
What followed was a year-long collaboration among faculty, alumni, students, board members, parents and other members of the SCH community to determine a new, clearly defined mission. While the mission will continue to be fully developed and implemented over the next several years, the statement itself has been updated on the school’s website. It reads:
“We are an inclusive community on a mission to inspire unbounded curiosity and independent thought in every one of our students. In a unique educational environment that extends well beyond campus, we nurture students’ knowledge of themselves and the world, expanding their full academic and personal potential while preparing them to lead lives characterized by thoughtfulness, integrity and a quest to effect positive change.”
In addition the mission statement, SCH also rolled out a new set of values to go along with it. The updated values are: Diversity, Courage, Thoughtfulness, Resilience and Integrity.
Now that the school has officially updated its mission statement and values, SCH’s efforts over the next two years will focus on implementing the mission into every aspect of the school community. Referred to as the “Roadmap,” this two-year plan will give everyone at SCH a clear description of how the school intends to achieve its new goals as well as continue moving forward in the future.
“It’s about making sure we own this and that they are more than just words on the wall,” Druggan said. “We will go slow to go fast, because students are very astute. If they see this major roll-out of words that they don’t know the full meaning of yet, they’ll be very cynical.”
With this process ultimately taking several years to complete, there will be plenty of work that needs to be done in addition to the everyday tasks of operating SCH. While balancing the short-term goals of SCH with the new long-term ones will certainly not be an easy task, Druggan is embracing it head-on while remaining optimistic about the school’s future.
“One of the great joys of this school … is that the kids run in here much faster in the morning than they run out in the evening,” Druggan said. “So I really look forward to … being in as many front gates as possible, shaking their hands and looking those kids in the eye and saying, ‘Good morning. Welcome back.’”