Head of School Message November 2012
With the arrival of cool weather and Thanksgiving break fast approaching, I want to update you on what’s new at All Saints. It is hard to believe the school year is three months old, and I am grateful it has been proceeding so smoothly. Big thanks to our Parent Association, FAME, and Booster Club for all they have done this fall and most importantly to our talented students and faculty. You can read about their accomplishments and learn about upcoming events in our weekly enews, “All About Us” released by email every Friday. I hope you are enjoying this new feature this year.
As I indicated in an earlier message, this school year All Saints has chosen to commence a strategic planning process which will culminate in a Board approved plan this summer. We are very fortunate to have secured as our consultant renowned institutional planner, Dr. William Weary of Fieldstone Consulting (www.fieldstoneconsulting.com) with whom we have worked before. Among the many independent schools and universities he has served over 27 years is the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) in their transformative plan of 1999, Phillips Academy Andover, Massachusetts, and recently Baylor University and Washington and Lee University.
The plan will be comprehensive in nature directing the advancement of all facets of the school over the next three to five years. We will be soliciting a lot of input from parents, trustees, students, alumni, and faculty over the next few months. Part of the February town hall meeting will be devoted to this in addition to smaller parent focus groups this fall. I hope you will be generous in your thoughts on how to make a great school even better. We have completed the first significant step of establishing the Strategic Plan Steering Committee, which will write the plan this spring. It is my pleasure to introduce them to you:
Trustees & Parents: Employees:
Mr. Hank Baker, Chair Mrs. Kathy Wood
Dr. Larry Anderson Ms. Ashley Wilson
Mrs. Julie Greene Mrs. Jane Adams
Dr. Mike Lewis Mrs. Charlotte Mullen
Rev. David Luckenbach Mrs. Gretchen Mercer
Dr. Lianne Sanchez Mrs. Crissy Huffman
We are also in the season in which we learn of faculty who will be transitioning to new opportunities. It is with sadness for All Saints but happiness for her, that I announce Trang Vuong will depart All Saints at the end of the school year to return home to her three children and also to explore curriculum development opportunities. Mrs. Vuong has served as Director of Academic & College Advising at All Saints for eleven years. Over that time she has served hundreds of students and built a comprehensive college advising office that is the most highly regarded in East Texas. Other professionals regularly seek out her expertise in this area. In addition she served the Development Office for six years by Co-Chairing the Off the Vine Wine Gala & Auction, which generous donors supported with over $1M in contributions. While we will miss Mrs. Vuong as a regular fixture in the college office, she will remain an active parent and I am pleased to report will serve as a consultant to the college office for the 2013 – 2014 school year.
Commencing next month, we will begin a national search for a new director of this office in the 2013 – 2014 school year. While Mrs. Vuong can never truly be replaced, we will be looking for a dedicated professional with the qualities to build on the excellent system now in place to give our students the best possible guidance and representation to the colleges throughout the nation to which All Saints students apply (and are accepted).
I wish to close by offering All Saints families a safe and happy Thanksgiving Holiday. As is my habit, enclosed are some educational articles that may prove interesting reading over the break.
Randal E. Brown
Head of School
Regrets of an Accomplished Child
By Pamela Paul, The New York Times (from November 2, 2012) IN my high school, as in most schools of upper-middle-class overachievers across the country, there were the students who strived and stressed out, the students who knew just what it took to get the job done and then that one kid who unnervingly surpassed us all even though he showed up in class stoned every day. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/education/edlife/brown-alumna-recalls-what-she-failed-to-learn.html?ref=education&_r=1&
How to Devise Passwords That Drive Hackers Away
By Nicole Perlroth, The New York Times (from November 7, 2012) Not long after I began writing about cybersecurity, I became a paranoid caricature of my former self. It’s hard to maintain peace of mind when hackers remind me every day, all day, just how easy it is to steal my personal data. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/technology/personaltech/how-to-devise-passwords-that-drive-hackers-away.html?_r=0