An Aspirational Vision

UPWARD: OUR HEAD OF SCHOOL'S BLOG
Last spring, a very committed and passionate VMS parent sat in my office and complimented the school on the smooth transition of leadership and progress we had made during the first year of our new administration. He then asked a very pointed, insightful, and serendipitous question.

“Where is Vail Mountain School going in the next five years?”

A key attribute of highly successful schools is a well-articulated vision that all members of the school community are aware of and in which they believe. Shortly after the aforementioned conversation, the Board of Trustees directed me to begin a dialogue with the VMS community about what we aspire to be and what we need to achieve these goals. These questions were met with extraordinary enthusiasm and generated significant and valuable input from all of the school’s constituencies.

Last summer, as we analyzed all of the ideas, feedback and suggestions, patterns began to emerge. School effectiveness, student outcomes, and the school’s viability were at the center. In December, after working with the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee, we presented the first draft of our plan to the full Board of Trustees. Final approval, after several more edits, was granted just weeks ago and I am proud to share with you our 2015 Five Year Vision. A printed copy should be at your homes as you read this. 

Our overall goal is for Vail Mountain School be widely recognized as a top tier independent school and a model for the interweaving of:
  • a robust experiential and global education program;
  • the rigor of a high quality college preparatory curriculum combined with a rapport driven environment that inspires character development;
  • an unparalleled collaborative relationship with our community and our mountain environment; and
  • the flexibility to support our athletes, thespians, musicians, artists, and diverse learners, in and outside of school.
Our Five Year Vision is broken down into four primary initiatives: our academics; people; campus; and bottom line, each with specific goals.

As head of school, the strategic plan serves as THE roadmap that will guide all planning and decisions. In a sense, it is my job description and must balance equal parts strategy and aspiration, with the flexibility to respond to change and take advantage of new opportunities. I think we’ve hit the mark, and after reading the Plan, I hope you will share the excitement I have for what lies ahead and the gratitude I feel to those who preceded us as stewards of our school. 

About Vail Mountain School

Founded in 1962, Vail Mountain School is a K-12, coed, independent school in Vail, Colorado. Our philosophy is to provide a demanding, college preparatory, liberal arts education in an atmosphere of mutual respect between faculty and students, where nurturing a healthy self-concept and stimulating academic inquiry are parallel objectives. Intentionally designed cross-age programs promote role modeling, responsibility, self confidence, and a sense of community. Our location in the Rocky Mountains allows us to integrate the outdoors into the academic and cultural fabric of the school through hut trips, all-school Ski Fridays, and other experiential learning opportunities. The result: our graduates possess a quiet confidence that serves them well in college and in life—confidence to assert themselves in their first college level essays; to raise their hand in a class of hundreds; to live on their own for the first time, to meet with and engage their professors; and to lead among their peers.