Sheridan’s Board Gets to Work

Below, the Sheridan Board of Trustees provides an overview of its priorities for the year. 

Sheridan’s Board of Trustees kicked off the year with a Board meeting on October 16, 2019. So what’s in store for this year? 

2019-2020 Priorities

  • Implementing the investment roadmap: Last year, the Board, in partnership with the Administration, developed a five-year roadmap for investments. The first set focused on facilities updates at Mountain Campus and installing a new school-wide HVAC system. The board will continue to refine the roadmap and provide for additional investments that align with program priorities. Stay tuned for updates.  
  • Resource review and oversight: One of the primary roles of the Board is to monitor and manage Sheridan’s financial resources. For 2019-20, key activities include review and approval of the school’s 2020-21 annual budget, monitoring how the school’s endowment is invested and managed, and approval of the independent financial audit.  
  • Strategy stocktaking: The Board also oversees the execution of the 2016-2022 strategy and will engage in a midpoint “stocktaking” exercise this year. This includes reviewing the current operating environment as well as examining strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to determine whether the strategy merits any adjustments.  

Strategy Update — Outdoor Education

The Board often invites individuals who are implementing the 2016-2022 strategy to share their progress with trustees. In October, Director of Outdoor Education Sandy Liebson briefed the Board on the school’s efforts to bring the outdoor education objective within the strategy to life. The objective calls on the school to reaffirm its commitment to outdoor education, expand environmental education as an essential part of academic excellence, and enhance and leverage students’ Mountain Campus experiences in support of our larger vision. Sandy’s report shared the positive impact of recent improvements to Mountain Campus, including the yurts. Five of the seven yurts have been completed and students and teachers are citing better sleep, more space to build bonds through card playing and other games, and an increase in overall comfort as significant improvements. In short, customer feedback has been outstanding. 

Sandy also shared information on program initiatives that are leveraging and reinforcing what students are learning through outdoor education. A wonderful example is the Sustainability Lab program for eighth graders, a year-long outdoor education initiative that integrates environmental education, social justice, science curricular connections, and citizen science projects. Through hands-on work at at our city campus, case studies and consultation with local experts and non-profits, students research, experiment, and plan for action to address a specific issue, and then take that action at Mountain Campus.

Philanthropy

Sheridan’s Philanthropy Vision Statement calls on Sheridan’s trustees to invest the best of ourselves in support of Sheridan’s future. To meet this charge, 100% of the Board donated or pledged to the Annual Fund before the close of September. Just a few days later, 100% of Sheridan’s faculty and staff rose to the challenge as well! As a Board, we hope you will join us in honoring all that our amazing teachers give to our school and to our children every day by making your own Annual Fund donation in the coming weeks as our community-wide Annual Fund campaign begins.   

“Whoo’s” on the Board

The Sheridan Board of Trustees is comprised of 18 voting and four ex-officio trustees. The voting trustees include parents and alumni parents, and a trustee who is an outside educator and independent school leader. The trustees represent a broad swath of our community — in addition to the four alumni parents who bring firsthand knowledge of the value of a Sheridan education, we also have trustee representation across every current grade in the school. Ex-officio members include the Head of School, a faculty trustee selected by their peers, and our two Parents Association co-presidents.

Sheridan trustees serve for three years and are eligible for up to two consecutive terms. Trustees meet as a full Board six times during the school year and conduct Board business through monthly meetings of the Finance, Advancement, Diversity/Education and Audit committees and the Committee on Trustees. When seeking new trustees, the Board looks for individuals who have governance experience in other settings and whose skills and experience align with the school’s strategic needs. 

More information about our current trustees and why they serve is available here. You’ll also discover fun facts about each trustee — do you know which Sheridan trustee played college varsity football?  Or who keeps a perennial stash of homemade cookies in the freezer? 

Lastly, just as Sheridan students do, trustees each commit to uphold a covenant each year that governs our work. You can find the Board covenant here.

If you have any questions about the Board and its priorities, please don’t hesitate to contact Board Chair Allison Logie.