Consistent and Modestly Ambitious

Dear Academy Families,

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) annual conference, held this year in Philadelphia, with 5,000 of my closest friends and colleagues…! The keynote speakers included Jim Collins (Good to GreatGreat by Choice), who stressed that his research pointed to a couple key differences between “good” and “great” communities: the first is being consistent in one’s goals (what he called adhering to a “20 mile march, day in, day out”); and the second is having the humility to temper ambitious energy. When I think of applying this to the Academy, I am reminded how fortunate we are to have such a straight-forward mission that we have pursued over our 20 years without distraction: taking advantage of being embedded in a world-class research university; instilling the foundations of a classical education; and being a caring community. This balance of these ambitious yet modest factors, combined with our unswerving adherence to them, absolutely meets Jim Collins’ criteria for a great institution.  More importantly, our students and faculty represent this same balance of modesty and ambition, with consistent adherence to our high goals.

In the spirit of our consistent-and-modestly-ambitious mission, I want to remind you of the upcoming spring gala in April, at which we will be celebrating the Academy’s 20thanniversary! Please go to our website for details and to purchase tickets…today!

My best wishes to you all for a great spring break, during which I hope everyone gets some well deserved rest and recreation.

Warm regards,
James S. Berkman
Head of School


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