News about the Board of Trustees for parents, staff and community supporters
Volume 1, Edition 2; Spring 2009
Letter from the Chair
Dear CCLCS families and friends,
In the last Board newsletter I wrote that one of our major objectives is to settle CCLCS in a building of its own. I couldn't have dreamed then how soon we might begin to make this dream a reality. As you probably know, the Town of Brewster has a bold plan to put all of its town buildings to better use, and part of that plan would allow CCLCS to buy the Brewster Town Hall. The Town Hall was formerly a school, has almost 50% more space than we occupy now, and is surrounded by playing fields. It would be an ideal location for us, and CCLCS, which has educated so many children from Brewster, would make a worthy addition the town. We were encouraged when Brewster Town Meeting voted in favor of the first step a few weeks ago, but the plan is complex and there is still long way to go. We are working with the Selectmen and Town Administrator to keep things moving, and will keep you informed as events unfold.
We look forward to paying a mortgage instead of rent. The economic pinch is being felt here at CCLCS, as everywhere. Our budget has always been tight, and we've been told to prepare for at least a 7% cut for next year. This has forced us into some difficult choices. Faculty and staff face cuts in salaries and benefits, and we will likely ask parents to pay greater shares of fees for programs like Sea Camps, etc. We wish it were otherwise, but are glad we've been able to maintain a full staff and a full program. As we head into the last year of our third five-year charter, the Board would like to recognize the parents whose generous involvement has helped make CCLCS the place it is. First, you raised kids who bring great energy and eagerness to their studies, then you've shown the same spirit yourselves, volunteering your time and expertise to the school in so many important ways. CCLCS represents the best of Cape Cod, because Cape Cod has given its best to the school - thank you.
Heidi Jon Schmidt, Chair
New Board Members
We are excited to welcome four new members to our Board of Trustees: Bob Dwyer, Lori LaBarge, Norm Michaud, and Carole Ridley.
Bob Dwyer is Executive Director of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and also serves on the boards of the Brewster Chamber of Commerce, the Coast Guard Heritage Museum, and the Barnstable Village Civic Association. Our relationship with the museum is longstanding. Bob's relationship with CCLCS began in 2006, with the creation of the Howe Foundation Grant. This grant enables CCLCS students to visit the museum on a monthly basis to study the habitat found in the 400+ acre outdoor classroom. Bob also is working with Paul Niles and Daniella Garran on the First Cornerstone archaeology project, and with Debby Greenwood on various art projects. He sees the possibility of our school having a future home within the Brewster Town Hall as an incredible opportunity, and looks forward, as a Board member, to helping make this a reality.
Lori LaBarge and her husband own LaBarge Custom Building. They have four children. The eldest, Olivia, is a sixth grader at CCLCS. What impresses Lori most about CCLCS is "the creativity of the teachers and their enthusiasm for the students and the curriculum," and by "the mutual respect shared among the students." Lori is excited to join the Board, as she has been impressed with the genuine interest among board members to maintain the mission and add value to the future of CCLCS. Lori looks forward to contributing to the board's Building Committee, which will be working to make our new school building and grounds a reality.
Norm Michaud joins the Board with 36 years of experience as a public school teacher, counselor and a school superintendent. Norm has also worked as a part time education search consultant and as a realtor. He and his wife retired to Brewster five years ago. He was introduced to the CCLCS Board by a fellow Board member with whom he serves on the Brewster Chamber of Commerce board. When asked what impresses him most about CCLCS, Norm responded that he is impressed with the school leadership, staff and the school curriculum that extends learning outside of the classroom. Given his experience with several school construction projects, Norm hopes to be an asset to the work of the Building Committee.
Many of you know Carole Ridley, who was our Board chair during the 2006-7 and 2007-8 school years. She is president of Ridley and Associates, which provides management consulting services, especially in the areas of public policy and market development, strategic and natural resources planning, and economic analysis. Carole and her husband have three sons. Their eldest, Evan, is a CCLCS graduate, now at Nauset Regional High School. Colin is a CCLCS 7th grader, and Trevor is an incoming 6th grader. We are delighted to tell you that Carole will be rejoining our board for the upcoming school year.
Each of our four new board members brings a unique set of experiences, interests and perspectives. We are grateful for their willingness to help the CCLCS Board of Trustees achieve our school's goals and further our mission.
Thanks to everyone who filled out a director evaluation last February. We're pleased to report that all parents gave our Executive Director, Kathy McNamara, very high marks, mentioning her warmth and professionalism, her openness to parents and the depth of her commitment to the school. Staff, faculty and board members expressed strong enthusiasm as well. A full breakdown of results is available in the office.
The Foundation appeal has arrived in your mailbox. Please give as generously as you can, if you haven't already. Even a small donation acts as a vote of confidence and helps show grantors what a strongly dedicated base of friends CCLCS has. In good times and bad we are committed to providing a challenging and inspiring public middle school education for kids on Cape Cod. The more you help, the more we can do.
We wish everyone a happy and healthy summer!