Dear Flint Hill School Families,

One of the things that I love about our School is the active participation from our parents. From attending coffees, special events, games, concerts and plays, to coming out for events like last week’s Tennis Social, we know that our parents really do engage.  They want to know each other, they want to help and they care deeply about the educational experience that is the bedrock of our great school. This participation demonstrates the School’s significance for both our parents and their children.

On Monday night, we hosted the Headmaster’s Freshman Families Fiesta Dinner.  Nearly 240 people came as we welcomed and recognized the Class of 2019 and the start of their journey through the Upper School. It was a fun, relaxing evening and 90% of it was focused on social relationships. I reminded the attendees that we will have a second Fiesta Dinner for this class in January 2019, just as they are beginning their final semester as Seniors. During that event, we will take time, once again, to come together for dinner to reflect on all that has been accomplished throughout their time with us.

Last night, more than 140 members of our community braved the heavy rains to actively connect with each other and with the School at our State of the School address. We had a tremendous response by folks who wanted to know how they can support our efforts, and wanted to make certain that they were aware of all that we are planning to do as we look to the future. While much of the evening focused on the tremendous strength that we are feeling right now as a School, the adoption of a very clear and focused mission statement, our vision for every student and the five goals outlined in the booklet, “Making a Difference: The Strategic Vision for Flint Hill School 2015-2020,” the evening brought our School family together to think carefully about children, education and what we all need to do to make certain that every single student experience is exceptional.

I also had a chance to introduce members of our Board of Trustees, members of the Parents’ Association Board and members of the School Leadership Team. They represent key areas of our program and each individual group brings critical leadership skills to our educational journey. It was a great evening and one that I hope helps generate enthusiasm, spirit and energy as we begin to move ahead to accomplish our strategic goals.

The strategic vision talks about going to 2020. That is the year when our current Eighth Graders will graduate from our Upper School. In fact, it really provides a perspective on who we are planning this for. It makes you think about our students in JK, the Class of 2029, and the foundation we are setting in place for their future. It is our responsibility to make the upcoming years significant, powerful, effective and transformational for them all. The five key goals in the plan, which I hope you have received at home by now, are very direct. They were distilled from a much larger list, and had more than 300 people engaged in the process that led us to this plan. The goals are:

Goal 1: A Dynamic Academic Program

Goal 2: A Transformative Student Experience

Goal 3: An Engaged Community

Goal 4: A Strong Model of Governance

Goal 5: A Sustainable Future

Each goal has specific strategic initiatives and we are hard at work on bringing them to life. They have been developed thoughtfully, carefully and deliberately and will help all of us achieve the vision we have for our students: Take Meaningful Risks. Be Yourself. Make a Difference. As we continue the rollout of our strategic vision, there will be several opportunities for you to engage in discussion regarding next steps:

Strategic Vision Luncheon
Wednesday, October 7
noon – 1:30 p.m.
The Tower Club

Strategic Vision Coffee
Friday, October 23
8:15 – 9:15 a.m.
Upper School Large Conference Room

Strategic Vision Coffee
Wednesday, October 28
8:15 – 9:15 a.m.
Upper School Large Conference Room

Strategic Vision Reception
Thursday, October 29
6:30 p.m.
The home of trustee Rick Hendrix and Shelly Hendrix in Great Falls, VA.

Space is limited for each of these events, but we hope you will register to join us.

All of this is exciting and is all about us “pulling the sled” together. At the end of the day, we are doing it for our great children. We know that sending your children here is an investment in their future. And in the long run, it makes all the difference in the world.  We thank you for your support and your active participation. We are just getting started!

Best wishes to you!




John M. Thomas