Dear Burke's Community,
What a year! It’s somewhat unusual for the work of the Board of Trustees to be quite as visible on the Burke’s campus as it is right now, but if you were with us yesterday for our official “Wall-breaking,” then you know that big changes are afoot.
Construction on our Campus Center project and Lower School classroom renovations officially begins on Monday, June 18, and we were thrilled to celebrate this big step with the larger Burke’s community — students and adults alike. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of our community with our capital campaign, Many Voices. Many Hands. All Burke’s. After taking the campaign to the full Burke’s community in February, I am so proud that we have raised $17 million of our $20-million goal — with 59% of Burke’s families participating! I want to thank the co-chairs of the campaign: Ambi and Thesia Bowo, Annie and Monty Woods, and the co-chairs of the community phase of the campaign: Leith Barry, Brian Davis, Lisa Farmer, and Yvo Smit for their tremendous leadership that has helped us get to this point.
We were also excited to finally release Burke’s new Gender Inclusion Statement earlier this spring. Like the capital campaign, the work on this project goes back several years, and it’s gratifying to publicly affirm the school’s commitment not only to a truly inclusive and welcoming environment, but also to its mission to educate, encourage, and empower girls.
It’s the time of year for transitions of many kinds, and with that, I bid a fond farewell to five members of the Board of Trustees who have concluded their service with us: Scott Crabill, Nancy Mayeda, Sara Recktenwald, Rachel Skiffer, and Alexis Traina. Their expertise in their various fields have been invaluable to our work as a board over their respective tenures and pushed us forward in immeasurable ways. My thanks as well to two of our non-voting members — Elizabeth Sparks ’86, President of the Parents’ Association; and Katy Congdon Williams ’96, Alumnae Association President — who both brought valuable insights to our work. We will miss them all next year.
Speaking of 2018-19, the board will continue to benefit from the talents of five members who have renewed their terms for another three years. My thanks to Colby Clark, Adrian Dollard, Kimberly Fullerton ’77e, Vic Sher, and John Walcott for recommitting to their positions, and I look forward to collaborating with them next year. I am also very excited to announce that five new members will join us from our parent community: Abhijit Dubey, Scott Jordon, Katie Paige, Ezra Perlman, and George Vidalakis. Click here to read more about them.
When we reconvene this fall, we will continue tackling the various issues — fiduciary and otherwise — that keep us busy throughout the year. One area of focus will be to ensure that Burke’s is supporting its faculty and staff to the best of its ability. This year’s successful accreditation process with the California Association of Independent Schools reaffirmed that we need to work harder to hire and retain the best faculty and staff. The Board of Trustees recognizes that the San Francisco Bay Area is becoming increasingly expensive and is actively trying to mitigate the impact of that increase on Burke’s employees. This is not an easy task, but an important one, as we want all members of our community to feel supported and engaged.
In closing, I want to thank our community for all you have done for Burke’s this year. I wish everyone a wonderful summer and look forward to reconnecting with you in the fall!
President, Burke’s Board of Trustees