Reflections and Aspirations

One year ago this week, I sat in the Common staring up at the lovely melting ice flows just south of the school. That view, among many others in the Valley, continues to remind me how very fortunate I am to be a member of the Vail Mountain School community. It was late in the afternoon and the school was calm, absent of most students and teachers. My first year was drawing to a close and I was in reflective mood, mindful of the fact that we’d accomplished a great deal, but that we also had a long way to go. I began to make a list of “wouldn’t it be great ifs” - a mental exercise that I frequently embark upon at the end of a school year.

A year ago, sitting alone in the empty Common, among many other aspirations, I dreamed…

Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a greenhouse with a full-time science teacher who would help our students learn where food truly originates, the science of soil preparation and seed germination, and eventually build a garden to table food source?

Wouldn’t it be great if we had more international diversity among our students to enrich our community and enhance our mission to prepare students with the life-long purpose of active participation in global citizenship.

Wouldn’t it be great if our technology programs truly reflected the high level of expectations we are accustomed to here at VMS by offering more makerspaces, coding and robotics?

Wouldn’t it be great if our Upper School grew enough in enrollment where we would be more competitive on the sports fields and on our stages? We’d be wearing more orange and enthralling our audiences with great performances in the theatre.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could rally our community around a five year vision and set ourselves on a path that will help Vail Mountain School to become widely recognized as a top tier independent school?

Well, a year later, I’m proud to report that all of the aforementioned aspirations are now part of the fabric and culture of Vail Mountain School! These new initiatives and accomplishments augment an ethos cultivated and grown over the past 50 years - one that promotes both academic and ethical growth among our our students.

Today, I am sitting in a now noisy Common, comforted by the knowledge that we’ve made great strides over the past year together. Of course, looking forward, there’s still much to be done and opportunity awaits...

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a library that fulfilled the needs of our 21st century learners? One with books, robust technology, and flexible furnishings/workspaces that inspired students to collaborate, engage in rigorous academic discourse, and dream up what’s next?

Wouldn’t it be great if our athletic teams--which are becoming a force to be reckoned with--could play on a next generation, state-of-art, artificial turf field made of safe fillers?

Wouldn’t it be great if we built an endowment that could provide financial flexibility and insulation from economic unknowns?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could provide compensation packages for faculty and staff that would make VMS not only an employer of choice in the valley, but that would also draw the best and brightest from across the country and the globe when opportunities arise?

This summer, we’ll be working hard on these ideas and brainstorming others to help VMS realize its full potential and create an ideal educational environment where students Learn More.