From The Head of School – November 29, 2023

NOVEMBER 29, 2023

Flint Hill Community, 

I hope you enjoyed a restful break, sharing gratitude and time with your families, friends, and loved ones.  

Last Monday and Tuesday, while students and families were away from campus, our faculty engaged in continued professional development, centering on a major theme for our work this year — the process of giving and receiving feedback. On a schoolwide level, this work ties into our VAIS 10-Year Accreditation process, which entails holding up a mirror to our school relative to the rigorous standards of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools.  

On a smaller, but no less significant scale, we have been doing a lot of work related to our professional practices — seeking feedback, embodying a growth mindset, and evolving a system by which we strive to grow as educators in support of our students, Mission, and Core Values. A major step in these efforts started this past summer with a shared faculty and staff read and discussions of Thanks for the Feedback, and continues with the formation of faculty/staff working groups designing an innovative Professional Growth System (PGS), championed by our Director of Academics, Aaron Proctor, in concert with our Chief of Human Resources, Melissa Holder-Murray, along with our Senior Leadership Team and Department Chairs. At its heart, this is an effort to improve all Flint Hill employees — whether in their first year here or third decade. 

The goal of the PGS is to build a culture of growth, reflection, and support among our Flint Hill team to employ the best practices for teaching and learning, to be positive members of our Flint Hill community, and to be curious and innovative in their craft. 

We’re distinguishing this PGS from traditional evaluation systems in that it is designed to be inclusive and impactful for all employees (and by proxy, the students in our classrooms, playing fields, and performance spaces). Our conversations during the PD days last week focused on the pull of coaching (as opposed to the push of evaluation), which celebrates autonomy, competence, and connections. The impact for our teachers will be the same as it is for our students: individual growth feeds collective growth. I’m proud to be a part of an innovative and forward-looking team, recognizing these ongoing efforts will continue to pay dividends for our community for years to come.

Thanks to our faculty who engaged in this work last week, and for the good work to come in the months ahead. My hope is that our students see the growth and openness of their teachers as they both give and receive feedback designed to sharpen their skills in support of our Huskies.


Patrick McHonett
Head of School