Twenty years ago it was on the verge of collapse. Then a Harvard-educated Southern entrepreneur saved it. His innovation and entrepreneurialism have become part of the school's ethos. The teachers, the administrators, the kinds of families who are attracted to the school embody it. This ethos has led to students being at the center of everything the school does. As a result, the faculty has become expert at differentiated learning — acceleration, enrichment, remediation, style. I kept asking, "How do you do all this so well?" The answer from parents, teachers and administrators always came back to putting students first.
The school's entrepreneurial savior and others pumped a ton of money and resources into it — investing in its future. These resources and a willingness to be innovative are what have allowed the school to put students first -- hiring great teachers, embracing new technologies and best practice pedagogies. Their entrepreneurial ethos enables them to be strategic and nimble all for the sake of their students.
In just two decades this independent school is better run and more successful in terms of student experience and outcomes than many of the other schools I’ve seen that have been around for more than a century.
Students first, innovation as the norm, investment in the future -- I've seen it in action and it works.