The past few weeks have included a whirlwind of activity and excitement on campus and, with graduation four weeks from today, we are just getting started. There is so much energy and engagement on campus right now, and it is so wonderful to witness and celebrate our students and their amazing achievements.
Just in the last few weeks, we have honored our graduating athletes at Senior Nights in lacrosse, tennis, track & field, and baseball at Doyle Park tonight; we have been wowed by incredible performances onstage with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; we have celebrated our named scholars at the Las Cafeteras performance at the Green Music Center and our Robotics Team with a celebratory dinner; and our Speech and Debate students have been competing at extremely high levels. l have and we welcomed our incoming students (all 87 of them!) at New Coyote Day. Tomorrow, our students will have the first SA Prom in three years; and next week, we have our final Community Meeting of the year. It is a fast-moving train and we are enjoying every minute of it!
While we are busy preparing to end the year with upcoming final exams, Intersession courses and trips, graduation-related activities to recognize our amazing seniors, and all that goes into celebrating the end of the year, we are also looking ahead to next year and beyond.
I am incredibly excited to announce that we have taken our first steps forward in the strategic planning process. This marks the beginning of strategic work and visioning, which will extend over the next year and culminate with a finalized strategic plan next June. We have officially partnered with independent school strategic planning organization Leadership+Design (L+D) to build a team interested in collaboratively planning for our school’s future.
Our Strategic Planning Committee—composed of trustees, staffulty, students, and parents—will embark on a year-long journey guided by the experience, energy, and excitement of consultant Greg Bamford, co-founder of L+D. The Strategic Planning Committee is charged with the process of dreaming about our school’s future, gathering the lived experiences and needs that are present in our school today, and building concept maps to strategic initiatives that represent the most exciting, innovative, and viable possibilities for our school moving forward.
As strategy consultant Greg Bamford says, “Strategy is an opportunity to chart a course for the future while energizing and engaging your community. Our design-driven process is collaborative, emotionally engaging, and transformational. We help teams look up from the day-to-day, map the terrain to understand what’s possible, identify the needs in their community, clarify your preferred future, and identify possible routes to get there.”
We look forward to collaborating in a process that is intentional, engaging, and community-centered. We have the opportunity to create a shared vision of who we are, what we value, and who we want to be as we imagine and chart Sonoma Academy’s next great decade.
While I am energized by the strategic planning work ahead—and the amazing work of our school that allows us to be so visionary, bold, and authentic with this plan—I am focused on the present and reveling in each moment we have together in this school year, especially with our exceptional senior class. I look forward to celebrating with all of our students, and many of you, over the next four weeks, including tonight at Doyle Park (I’ll be there!). Go Yotes!