Dear Flint Hill School Families,

I hope you all had the chance to take part in some of the fantastic activities that took place over the past few days. Saturday’s Empty Bowls event was exceptional — more than 300 bowls were purchased with proceeds benefiting DC Central Kitchen. Representatives from DCCK were at the Upper School to help serve soup, and their executive director delivered an inspirational speech to students about the difference that their act of kindness and hard work can make in the lives of so many people. There was music, demos, and a chance to catch up with members of our school family. All in all, it was an outstanding event.

Also during the weekend, our Boys’ Basketball team won the MAC Tournament Championship. For the first time since 2011, they swept the regular season and tournament. On the heels of winning the MAC Championship, the Boys’ Swim and Dive team had a tremendous State Tournament. Junior Oliver Mills won the State Championship in diving, set a meet record, and was named an All-American! And this Sunday, members of our two-time state championship winning football team will be inducted into the Northern Virginia Football Hall of Fame. Congratulations to seniors Jordan Houston and Miles Thompson and Head Varsity Football Coach Tom Verbanic on this tremendous achievement.

This energy and accomplishment are part of the momentum that is a hallmark of the Flint Hill experience. It’s no wonder we chose “Momentum” as the theme for our building campaign. I want to share that we are closer than ever to bringing our vision for a new Middle School and renovated Lower School to fruition. Last Friday, less than a month after launching the campaign at Winterfest, we crossed the $17 million mark, putting us just $3 million short of our $20 million fundraising goal!

Our gratitude to the families and friends of Flint Hill who are bringing us to our goal so quickly cannot be overstated, but there is still work to be done. I hope you will use some time during the upcoming break to talk as a family about your plans to support the campaign and that you will return to campus with great news to share!

In addition to your generosity, we wouldn’t be where we are with this campaign without the Peterson family, whose historic $10 million gift gave us a tremendous head start. If you missed our launch event at Winterfest, you can learn more about that gift and the family’s collective passion for Flint Hill below.

Here’s what’s possible. This new building will benefit us all. Our youngest Huskies will enjoy expanded, refreshed space in a renovated Hazel Academic building. A lucky group of Middle School students will learn, develop and flourish in a space with a beautiful terrace that will serve as a gathering space for every member of our school family. Imagine a stadium for our Upper School turf field, with a crowd cheering “Go Huskies!” for our field hockey, football, soccer and lacrosse players. The new “Hut” will be part of that structure, allowing our parent-volunteers, who so generously give their time to work the Hut to see our student-athletes in action while they are helping others.

The momentum is real! The fact that we are just $3 million away from our $20 million goal is a clear demonstration of our School’s unique culture. If your family has contributed through a gift or pledge, thank you. And if you have not had a chance yet to join us, I want to remind you that some pledges can be paid over a five-year period.

If you can help us raise just $3 million by mid-April, we can give our building contractors final approval to begin work on the new Middle School before the end of the school year. It will give us that continued sense of all that is great about our wonderful school family.

Now I’d like to share a story that I hope will inspire you as much as it inspired me. It’s the story of one of our littlest Huskies in JK, who also happens to be the youngest contributor to the campaign. One day at home, his mother heard the sounds of coins jingling in his bedroom. She went in to check on him and saw him emptying out his piggy bank and counting his coins. When she asked him what he was doing, he said he wanted to give his money to Flint Hill so we could get our building done. As he said in his own words, “I want to be in that building!” This student made a gift of $12.62, carefully placing his money in a sandwich bag and walking into the Miller House the next day to personally hand it to our Director of Institutional Advancement Meredith VanDuyne. Now he is listed proudly on our list of donors on the campaign website.

Meredith took him outside to the sign displaying our progress to date so he could change the numbers to show his mighty contribution.

We are standing on the shoulders of those who came before us. Incredible leaders and visionaries like former Board Chair Skip Coston and Founding Chairman Til Hazel have made us who we are today. The final video I will share in this week’s letter is an opportunity to hear, in Til’s own words, his thoughts and feelings about this turning point in our school’s history.

So please, join us! Remember that our goal is to do all we can to have those pledges in as soon as possible. This is an aggressive, bold campaign, but that is part of the excitement of being at Flint Hill. Everything we do here tends to be aggressive and bold, but it is always done deliberately and strategically with a focus on our four core values. Thanks for all your support and help. Let’s keep the momentum going!

Best wishes to you.


John M. Thomas