Dear Flint Hill School Families,
Outcomes are always critical in everything we do. As we go through life, we want to see the outcomes of our efforts and the “fruits of our labor.” Whether it is a grade in a particular class, the completion of a piece of artwork, the score at the end of a game, or the sense of having done our very best in our careers, outcomes can give us valuable feedback. At work, it is the outcomes that help us to move up the ladder of success and take on more responsibility. In our personal lives, the outcomes are measured by the indicators of how well we are doing in our relationships with each other.
During the past few days I attended a national conference in New York with a number of members of our Development Office. I even had the privilege of making a presentation on working with parents. But most of the time, we were scattered around the conference, learning and growing, with professionals from independent schools from all over the country. We learned about best practices, recent trends, development efforts, annual funds, program development, endowments, planned giving, alumni programs and practices, parent association efforts and capital campaigns. It was an exceptional conference, and we came away filled with ideas to consider as we move forward. We are never satisfied with the status quo, so our ongoing pursuit of professional development, is part of the entrepreneurial spirit that I still continue to see in everything we do. We clearly found ideas that were worthy of our further reflection and consideration. We also learned through the various conversations we engaged in, that we are doing very well, and in many cases, some of our practices excited others and they wanted to know more about them.
The outcome was a sound and productive time of learning. It was a part of our growth as professionals and a chance for our team to reflect together before, during, and after the sessions on how that applies to us, what we could do, and where that could take us. Those outcomes were productive and beneficial to us as individuals and to our school as a whole. However, the best outcomes we came across occurred on Monday night. On that evening, our Office of Alumni Relations hosted an alumni reception in New York City. As busy as everyone is in the Big Apple, it was satisfying to see that a dozen alumni made time to join us, to catch up with fellow Huskies and classmates to make new connections with each other and with those of us from Flint Hill. There was a common bond there, a thread throughout each one of them, as they shared what they were doing now and how they landed in New York City. Among our graduates in New York:
- A general surgery resident at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who also shared that there were two other residents working with him at Mount Sinai who are also Flint Hill graduates.
- An investor who is involved with the UBS Investment Bank.
- A project manager at the New York Times.
- A project consultant at Intuit, where he is involved in data analytics.
- The owner and design director at Trish Alina Designs, an interior design firm.
- An assistant vice president at Barclays.
- A user experience associate at Razorfish.
- Several associates at law firms.
- An executive involved in the Securities Litigation and Enforcement Division at Jones Day.
- A national trade brand manager at Elizabeth Arden.
- An orthodontic resident at Columbia University Medical Center.
- An account executive at Novita, who had been an exceptional singer at Flint Hill and continues to sing with a major choral group for the city of New York.
- The assistant director of graduate admissions at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, who made time to join us just before he goes on a five-week Asian tour to interview prospective students.
These were hard working, determined, poised, and gracious Huskies, who talked endlessly about their teachers at Flint Hill and how those teachers were the ones who had put them on their path to their current successes — the teachers who they still think back to as they deal with difficult situations and challenges that come before them in the workplace. It was clear that the influence of Flint Hill did not end when they went to college. If any, it continued to be the constant thread through all of their college, graduate school, early work and life endeavors. It was a fascinating experience. Attendees ranged from the classes of 1996 to 2007. These young men and women still demonstrate the four core values and you could see that they proudly carry our “driving spirit.” They are perfect examples of the outcomes of the educational experience at Flint Hill. It was impressive to see their poise and positive demeanor and the appreciation they hold for the sacrifices they know their faculty had made to instill in them that confidence and competence. They all shared their joy, deep appreciation for the foundation Flint Hill gave them, and how much they were touched that we had reached out to them on what was a chilly and damp Monday night to reunite them again!
Outcomes are important. They help to measure and define what we are doing. As we rode back to the hotel after our alumni gathering, we all felt a sense of awe, respect and pride for the outcomes we were able to witness that night. We should always appreciate the fact that we have a very exciting program and that meeting our alumni may just be the very best way to see that come to life.
Best wishes to you!
John M. Thomas