Jane Cronin, an English teacher at Eagle Hill, is just one of many instructors exemplifying a positive role model. “I am definitely an advocate for SPARK,” she affirms. “I try to get up there every day myself.” As the SPARK spirit catches fire, those who may have questioned the need for such a vast facility have experienced that “aha moment.” “Everyone who walks through there now understands completely why it needed to be this big and this specialized. When you have 130 students doing SPARK and another 80 doing athletics, the place is full and buzzing at all hours,” elaborates McDonald. “We raised half the funds, $7.5 million of the $15 million, and the board decided that this initiative was too important to wait. Given the market conditions, we were able to take advantage of historically low interest rates. We took out a non-profit bond of 3.5% fixed while we continue to fundraise. While we are still fundraising, we are enjoying the benefits two years ahead of schedule. So many people stepped up in such amazing ways,” emphasized the headmaster. In addition, a skate park is currently under construction. And Eagle Hill continues to forge ahead, examining sleep patterns for students and adding nutritious options to the school menu. “I think one of the hallmarks of Eagle Hill and our success is that we are not competing against other schools,” asserts McDonald. “We are competing against ourselves. It (the SPARK initiative) was a learning process. We learned together. In terms of community, it has far surpassed all of my expectations about what it would be in terms of the heartbeat of the campus. It is a place where faculty and students come together in ways they never could in a classroom, collaboratively, pushing one another. It really is a sight to see.”
2012–2013 Eagle Hill School 29
The Compendium is a magazine published yearly by Eagle Hill School in Hardwick, MA.