Student Support is our Foundation
Message from Headmaster, Randy Richardson
I look forward to traveling with Barclay Mackinnon and Erika Hoddinott to the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) Conference in Charlotte, NC at the end of next week. Many Oliverian students have come to our school through IECA consultants, and I am eager to build strong relationships with these professionals and making sure they understand my vision and Oliverianís unique approach. We want to do everything we can to help ensure that the match is right between Oliverian and a prospective student, and Barclay, Erika and I look forward to spreading the Oliverian word to as many people as we are fortunate enough to connect with next week.
With the importance of fully understanding the Oliverian way in mind, I have been striving to clarify our mission and pillars since I joined Oliverian this past summer. While I am passionate about the unique framework of Oliverian, I did not feel there was enough mission emphasis on student support, given that the three highlighted Oliverian pillars are limited to academics, stewardship and adventure. In an effort to improve upon the architecture, I tried to sell the idea of a fourth student support pillar, and I was met with some intrigued but reluctant reactions from the faculty. Part of the reason for the reluctance became clear when I floated the idea by Lauren Estebanell, our Director of Student Support. She quickly explained that we did not need a fourth pillar because student support is already the foundation holding up our three pillars.
As I have now fully experienced a few rewarding months at Oliverian, I have seen the student support teams in full action. Every student has a counselor, an advisor, a dorm parent and a full set of morning and afternoon teachers. With advisor groups of 3 or less, dorms of 5 to 12 students, an average class size of about 6 and with a team of four counselors devoted to a small student body, the number of deep faculty/student connections that happen every day is truly inspirational. Every day and night, I am involved in multiple conversations with other administrators and faculty that reveal a deep knowledge and caring for our students.
The foundation of student support at Oliverian is deep and strong. The freedom and responsibility that comes with the part of our school that is a traditional boarding school is set on top of an extensive support program and caring culture that serves as both a foundation and a safety net. It is exciting to be part of a great team that is still building and developing this unique school. I look forward to the IECA Conference with enthusiasm in my goal to share all that Oliverian has accomplished this year toward providing a more structured and well-rounded student support program to our student population.
** View Previous Issues of Headmaster's Corner **
DATES TO REMEMBER
March 17 - April 2
Fourth Quarter Begins
Mon, April 16
Sun, July 1 - Sat, Aug 18
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