Annual Report 2017-2018

From the Board Chair

I am excited to be your Board Chair. When Michael, Finley, and I first joined the Walden community, I had high hopes for Finley’s education but never intended to become involved on the Board. After two years of watching Finley thrive in ways that I believe are unique to Walden, I realized that it is incumbent on me to be involved and to do my part to ensure the continued success of Walden. I have been on the Board now for three years. During this time, I have witnessed (and have been greatly encouraged by) a very deliberate effort to foster the most dynamic and thoughtful learning environment in the area.

We recently unveiled an updated strategic plan to the Walden community. We will remain true to our mission, even as we employ new means and methods to engage with our children, each other, and the larger community. This plan underscores that our Walden experience is about more than just teaching our children to read and write. It is about teaching our children to think, to communicate, to interact with others who might be different than them, to understand the larger context of their surroundings, and to generally make them productive members of society. This is already happening at Walden. We must ensure it continues.

As Board Chair, I look forward to partnering with you in this effort.

With admiration and high hopes,

Megan Hamilton

From the Former Board Chair

I look back on the 2017-2018 school year and the work of our community, and I’m inspired by our commitment to Walden’s future and sustainability through our strategic plan. As a community, we spent countless hours reflecting, discussing, and planning for the future of our school. We left no stone unturned and in that pursuit, I’m proud of what the strategic planning committee presented to the Board and put forth to our community. I believe Walden will be in a stronger place with a clear identity and vision for our future school.

Our strength is in this community’s “Can Do” attitude. We continue to show significant growth in the support for the Walden Fund. This year our development committee and staff were particularly thoughtful about re-educating our community on the importance of giving. I’m proud to say that our year-end numbers reflect the generous spirit in which everyone who participated made a difference. The Wonder of Walden event was the epitome of what our school co-creates. The leadership, faculty, staff, and parents put together an evening celebrating our past, present, and future.

As my time as Board Chair ends, I’m confident and excited about the new leadership on the Board, as well as the capacity of this Board to be diligent in taking Walden into the future stronger than when we began.

Sincerely,

Nicole Shannon

From the Head of School

Stewardship is a value at Walden that is present across the community. While this idea is often connected directly to giving in many circles, at Walden we see this value in a much broader context. For us, stewardship is deeply rooted in connection.

Human connection is a key component of learning. John Dewey, the father of progressive education regularly argued that schools are social institutions, which can and should serve to provoke and create a better society. In Walden classrooms, shared interests and learning experiences help children broaden their views and knowledge of the world. We believe in wonder and since children are natural explorers, accessing their curiosity helps us look for what lies beyond the predictable. At Walden, imaginative inquiry opens this door, and I’m excited that our Director of Curriculum Kelli Dawn Holsopple will continue to work with teachers to implement this school-wide. 

Your contributions to the Walden Fund bridge the gap and help to bring these connections and other ideas to life on our campus on a daily basis. This year, your generosity along with our dedicated Parent Guild initiatives helped to raise an impressive $288,979 for the Walden community. This was led by 100% participation from our faculty and staff and Board of Trustees. 86% of our current parents as well as alumni, friends, grandparents, and organizations also contributed to a 20% increase in the total revenue raised for Walden. 

Self-discovery and stewardship also develop when there is a genuine, personal connection and real-world understanding of the experiences of others. Our commitment to social-emotional learning, outdoor education field experiences, specialty classes, and a research-based academic curriculum provide the avenues for children to become agents and advocates for themselves and others. Thank you for making Walden one of your philanthropic priorities, for building a legacy of stewardship in your family, and for modeling that we all have stewardship for the world in which we live. 

See you around school,

Terra Toscano