A Message from Damian J. Fernandez, Head of School
I am honored and humbled to begin my work as ECF’s head of school this year. My family and I have settled into our new home, and we are delighted to be here. I hope you are as excited as I am about the start of the new school year.
Our point of departure must be our mission—ensuring excellence in what Felix Adler called “the best and most thorough education.” It is imperative that our mission—which embraces ethical learning, academic excellence, progressive education, and multiculturalism—resonates for our times. For me, schools are communities of memory, hope, and caring; our shared hopes for the future should be nurtured by ECF’s proud history and our constant caring for this community and what it represents.
This year offers a wonderful opportunity to examine foundational questions and aspirations, as we will launch our self-study process. The self-study, required for accreditation by the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) every 10 years, will serve as the basis for collective learning about our school—where we excel and where we must improve. The self-study will also provide the platform for our work on a strategic plan in 2012-13.
In this context, the board and I have selected four primary areas of focus to inform our work this year: communication and connection; academic excellence; leadership; and financial sustainability. We have identified both long-term and short-term goals in each. Focusing on the four priorities will help us all to stay the course as we advance critical goals this year. We have an ambitious agenda ahead of us, and I look forward to listening and learning from all of you—faculty, parents, students, staff, administrators, and alumni—and to serving ECF for many years to come.
Damian J. Fernandez
ECF Head of School