All schools evolve. The really good ones do so with their mission, core values, and a sense of their history at the center of their thinking. Holland Hall is not the same school it was upon our founding in 1922, but our deliberate focus on creating an apprenticeship in self-discipline and on helping every child in our care find their light and share it broadly in service to others remains the anchor for our decision-making.
In honoring the education we have provided for nearly 100 years and in looking to the future, I am delighted to share with you Holland Hall’s next strategic plan—one rooted in our mission, our values, our Episcopal approach, and in our confidence of what’s to come!
The five broad themes and the numerous, sometimes daunting, enumerated tasks are derived from nearly two years of listening, constructing, seeking feedback, and editing. In various forms, they focus our efforts on creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community for all our families. They offer a premium experience for our families, one that will ensure the next generation of leaders is ready to serve. It’s a widely inclusive document that sought input from every imaginable school constituency: current students, alumni, parents, faculty, current and former board members, retired faculty, administrators, and community leaders.
Internationally renowned thought-leader and independent school advocate Grant Lichtman provoked our efforts, leading a retreat of 100 individuals from those constituent groups. The day-long workshop helped us bookend our thinking and generated a considerable number of ideas to explore. Nearly 1000 data points surfaced that day, and I remain thankful for everyone who offered their Saturday to the cause.
From there, we conducted eight different listening sessions open to anyone in the Holland Hall community, including a dedicated faculty meeting so we could hear from every teacher on campus. The conclusion of those sessions resulted in another 1000 data points.
All of this input—2000 data points, 20 hours of listening, a broadly sent survey, input from 15-year-olds to grandparents—was taken to the Board of Trustees’ Strategic Planning committee for review. Under the apt leadership of Board member and Holland Hall parent Mr. Tim McFerrin the committee oversaw five revisions of the document to bring us to our priorities for the next five to seven years. As you will see, they are as bold as they are grounded in our mission and values.
As we continue to weather this storm of Covid-19, and as we come to terms with racial justice in America, it’s time for us to begin to look to the future, building on the foundations of our past to create a better school for our grandchildren.
I want to thank our faculty and Board of Trustees, particularly our Board Chair, J.W. Craft, and Tim McFerrin, for their leadership and commitment to seeing this collective vision become a reality for our students, for Holland Hall, and for the future of Tulsa.
J.P. Culley, Head of School