Fall 2021 NMH Strategic Framework

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Northfield Mount Hermon

Strategic Framework FALL 2021

Message from the Chair Strategic Planning Committee Claude Anderson P’11 Tiffani Brown ‘96 Mariah Calagione ‘89, P’18, ‘20 Margaret Clark P’11 Alison Elliott ‘71 Dena Fletcher P’13 Themba Flowers ‘90, P’19, ’23 Bea Garcia P’09 Diane Garland P’18, ‘19 Debby Ghezzi P’23 Don Glascoff ‘63, P’12 Grant Gonzalez Nhu Gonzalez Hoang Monie Hardwick ‘74 Brian Hargrove Josie Hart ‘74 Phil Hood P’24 Jay Kaplan ‘72 Breanna Kirk P’20, ‘21 Audrey Kubie ‘68, P’94, ‘97 Naomi Levine P’20 George Long Alex Lotocki ‘70, P’15 Peter Macdonald ‘75 Mary McEneany Jeremiah Neal Martha Neubert Carrie Niederman ‘78 Kristen Peterson Lori Provencal P’23 Kai Robinson ‘05 Lisa Robinson P’24 Mona Seno Kim Shearer P’05, ’18 Hugh Silbaugh P’13 Lee-Ellen Strawn P’21, ‘23 Roberta Taggart ‘07 Charlie Tierney P’16, ‘19, ‘20 Emma Un Lori Veilleux Ryan Vineyard ‘98 Kara Walker Sarah Warren David Warren Shannon Weinberger P’14, ‘16 Sara Wilson ‘02

Strategic planning was initiated by trustees in September 2020 with a thorough discussion about the hopes for the school, what we must preserve and strengthen, and where we wish to lead the school over the next five years and beyond. We agreed the plan must build upon and further affirm our historical commitment to academic excellence, diversity in its many forms, and an education that shapes the head, heart, and hands of our students. We committed ourselves to a dynamic and inclusive strategic planning process. While trustees are responsible for the overall direction of the school, it is the faculty, staff, and students who will live and lead the school’s future. Without the community’s input and commitment, a strategic plan lacks the will and energy to make real change possible. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I offer my thanks to the 3,300-plus survey respondents, the dozens who participated in focus groups, and the faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and trustees who led our working committees. Thanks in large measure to the careful attention of many, we have succeeded in framing ambitious goals as we also centered our work on our mission and values. Now, we move forward together with a clear vision for the next few years and clear expectations for how we will measure our success in the days ahead. The strategic framework will guide school operations and bring clarity to opportunities for philanthropic support. We are excited about this plan and look forward to the continued partnership of the Northfield Mount Hermon community in bringing about its fulfillment.

Mariah D. Calagione ’89, P’18, ’20 Board of Trustees, Chair

Committee Structure and Charges ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

As we prepare students for success in college and life, how do we shape the NMH academic experience to leverage existing and new programs to strengthen and positively differentiate NMH’s educational experience?



How do we align our programs to inspire, nurture, and develop each student’s ability and desire to serve and lead effectively on campus, in college, and in life?

How do NMH’s current composition, size, and financial aid resources align with the school’s mission, programmatic priorities, and market realities?


How do we build on our historic commitment to access and inclusion to ensure that NMH lives up to its aspirations to lead in its practice of DEI principles in service to current students, employees, and other educational institutions?

Timeline DISCOVER, ANALYZE, AND ASSESS October–December 2020

Frame Board of Trustees priorities for committees and consider key questions



January–March 2021

Recommend priority initiatives (3–5)




Test recommendations • Confer with board and faculty committees




Share plans within the NMH community

• Review against priorities and capacity to execute Seek broad input and engage key constituents

Ensure alignment among trustee/faculty standing committees and the Coordinating Committee

Resolve open questions and recommend actions

Finalize recommendations and approve the plan

Our Mission

Northfield Mount Hermon educates the head, heart, and hands of our students. We engage their intellect, compassion, and talents, empowering them to act with humanity and purpose.

Our Vision

We will be a collective force for good as we educate the next generation of students who will serve and lead in communities around the world. We will make historic investments in financial aid and assert our commitment to providing access and opportunity to underrepresented communities. We will deliver a rigorous, immersive, and interdisciplinary program that relies on authentic connections, reflects our commitment to environmental stewardship and social justice, nurtures a global perspective, and leverages our unique resources on campus and around the world. We will live our mission and values across the life of our school.

Our Values

Inclusivity: We seek to create a culture where all members feel they belong and where everyone is welcomed, respected, accepted, and supported. We embrace the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas our community members bring and ask that students aspire to develop their unique selves and talents. Because we value such a learning environment, our students are better equipped to empathize, listen, serve, and lead. Learning for Life: Education for the head, heart, and hands inspires learning for life. We challenge each other to be curious, to think critically, to recognize and challenge biases, and to pursue the best version of ourselves. We expect each member of the community to respect others, engage with differing worldviews, gain cultural literacies, and think and act as a force for good. Service: We model and celebrate the ideal that learning and growth require genuine service to others. Service demands respect, compassion, and empathy. As students develop these capacities, they gain a deeper understanding of how individual and collective efforts — service and leadership — can transform communities and change the world.

Our Priorities Expect transformation.

Our expectations are high for our school and for our students. In educating students’ head, heart, and hands in preparation for college and life, we call forth their intellectual, physical, cultural, and spiritual growth. We seek to identify and nurture individual strengths so that students may discover their best selves and, together, be a collective and transformative force for good in communities around the world. Associated Goals Deliver an exceptional academic experience. This requires strength across disciplines as well as distinctive programs that align with NMH’s mission, integrate DEI and sustainability principles, and promote outstanding communication skills. Embrace learning across campus, in our local community, and around the world. From athletics to performing arts to student leadership roles to workjob to the Farm to residential life to service-learning to immersive international travel, experiential learning opportunities profoundly shape the NMH experience. Success requires explicit learning and growth objectives in every facet of the student experience, as well as a shared commitment to the ideal that, when we engage, we seek to do our best work. Meet students where they are. From the moment we accept students, we must understand their unique strengths and needs, their aspirations, and how we will support them. This requires authentic relationships, as well as a commitment to each student’s social, emotional, cultural, and spiritual growth. It also calls for ongoing assessment, flexible learning plans and paths, and consistent communication with students and among the adults working on their team.

Invest in people.

We believe in the potential of each student; the impact of great teachers, coaches, and mentors; and the strength of our alumni network. Associated Goals Expand access and opportunity. We must make historic investments in financial aid and reduce the financial barriers to enrolling students. Reflect and support diversity in its many forms. NMH must attract and retain students and employees whose talents and perspectives better reflect the diversity in our country and around the world. Our success requires an equitable and inclusive experience across the life of our school.

Strengthen and support our faculty and staff. We must value the contributions of all employees, compensate them fairly, offer a healthy work environment, and invest in ongoing professional development so that employees may advance as leaders in their fields. Activate our alumni network. We must develop professional networking and student-focused career development programs that leverage the expertise within the alumni body.

Steward our resources.

Our place on the Connecticut River differentiates us. It connects us to the land and our community in unique ways, and it provides a springboard to serve more broadly and boldly. We understand the importance of our leadership and modeling environmental stewardship in our daily lives, as well as in our institutional decision making. Associated Goals Act locally and globally. Understand the cultural and social contexts of the Connecticut River Valley, including the legacy and enduring presence of the Nipmuc, Pocumtuc, and Abenaki tribes and our founder D.L. Moody’s vision for the school. Strengthen interdisciplinary programs that connect students to the land and the community, emphasize environmental stewardship, and promote service to others. Maximize campus resources. The Gilder Center, the Rhodes Arts Center, The Draper Riverhouse, the Farm, and other outstanding facilities provide unique opportunities for our students. They also require purposeful attention to expand their impact as we create signature programs. Strengthen our financial foundation. We must steward and grow our existing resources and align investment with our strategic priorities to the benefit of current generations, without compromising the long-term health of the school for future generations. Communicate our impact. Express and celebrate Northfield Mount Hermon’s distinct identity, history, and educational mission with greater clarity and pride internally and in the broader marketplace.

Priorities, Goals, and Next Steps

Message from the Head of School With great enthusiasm for the Strategic Framework, I want to express my appreciation to all who have informed it, as well as my expectation that its fulfillment will transform Northfield Mount Hermon in the years to come. As we affirm our mission, we honor the vision of our founder D.L. Moody and our enduring commitment to launch generations of young people who will serve and lead in communities around the world. As we assert our values, we acknowledge our school’s history as well as how we must embrace our community in our daily lives. At the intersection of our mission and values, our vision for the future truly comes to life. I ask you to reflect on our commitment to accessibility and financial aid, expressly to strengthen the NMH experience by supporting underrepresented groups. Please give thought to the impact of our program that attends to the development of the whole person by leaning into our interdisciplinary tradition, our pursuit of excellence in the classroom, and our belief in each student’s potential. Finally, consider what it will mean as our students benefit from an experience nurtured by a global perspective, enriched by diverse backgrounds and points of view, and strengthened by our abiding commitment to social justice and environmental stewardship. Of course, our success in realizing this vision for Northfield Mount Hermon comes down to the details and our ability to execute against this framework. To offer insight into how we are pursuing these goals, I propose the following next steps. While a few goals do not lend themselves to objective deliverables, most do, and soon we will share specific targets and begin to report on our progress. At this point, we expect transformation. We believe in the transformative qualities each student brings to our community. We know well the transformative effect a dedicated adult mentor has in the life of a student. We see the transformation alumni and parent volunteerism and support have on our school. And we know that, together, we can transform our school, education more broadly, and the world in which we live. I invite you to join us in this transformation.

Brian Hargrove Head of School

Priorities, Goals, and Next Steps Priority One: Expect transformation. Goal #1: Deliver an exceptional academic experience. • Update academic program expectations for literacies (bodies of knowledge) and competencies/skills grounded in NMH mission, values, and aspirations for graduates. • Strengthen academic and co-curricular programs that further differentiate NMH in the marketplace. • Set five-year goals for promoting and leveraging academic and cocurricular programs that bring positive attention to NMH (as measured by attracting students and employees, aiding in the college application process, and building the school’s brand).

Goal #2: Embrace learning across campus, in our local community, and around the world. • Update campus life program expectations to reflect NMH mission, values, and aspirations for graduates in all that we do. • Set five-year goals to support a campus life program that reflects NMH mission, values, and aspirations for graduates in all that we do. • Develop distinctive programs that promote service and leadership. • Set five-year goals to invest in distinctive programs in service and leadership.

Goal #3: Meet students where they are. • Integrate tools (i.e., Learning Assessment Passport) to assess individual student learning approach and to track individual progress relative to each student’s goals.

Priority Two: Invest in people. Goal #1: Expand access and opportunity. • Define “historic investment” in financial aid and assess impact. • Develop the case for financial aid and a plan for fundraising. • Set a five-year goal for new budgeted financial aid (funded from both the endowment and annual giving).

Goal #2: Reflect and support diversity in its many forms. • Consider school size and desired student composition. • Set five-year goals for school size and composition. • Leverage existing programs to recruit and support students of color (e.g., LEAP and Anderson Scholars). • Examine employee composition goals to recruit and retain employees who reflect the diversity within the country (with particular attention to employees of color). • Set five-year goals for employee composition.

Goal #3: Strengthen and support our faculty and staff. • Assess impact of NMH’s current and potential additional commitment to total compensation (salary and retirement), key benefits (including housing, insurance, meals, and vacation) and professional support (including degree support, skill/knowledge development, and sabbaticals) for employees and increase understanding of impact of investment in current employees. • Set five-year goals for employee composition and total compensation (salary and retirement), key benefits (including housing, insurance, meals, and vacation) and professional support (including degree support, skill/ knowledge development, and sabbaticals) for employees.

Goal #4: Activate our alumni network. • Determine effective/applicable model for connecting alumni with one another for career networking, assess investment required to implement desired programs, and recommend program shifts. • Determine effective/applicable model to engage alumni with students in project-based learning opportunities (e.g., externships as part of a capstone project), assess investment required to implement desired program, and recommend program shifts. • Explore how to develop and support connections between alumni and student affinity groups. • Set five-year goals for alumni networking and student-alumni engagement.

Priority Three: Steward our resources. Goal #1: Act locally and globally. • Develop new curricular and co-curricular programs that promote NMH’s connection to its home in the Connecticut River Valley. • Develop a distinctive program that asserts NMH’s commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability. • Set five-year goals to invest in signature institutional commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Goal #2: Maximize campus resources. • Develop signature programs that leverage specific campus resources — most notably, the Gilder Center, Rhodes Art Center, and the Farm. • Set five-year goals to invest in signature programs that leverage campus resources.

Goal #3: Strengthen our financial foundation. • Affirm five-year financial plan. • Focus resources on the school’s mission by limiting non-core activities and minimizing ongoing liabilities. • Consider new revenue streams consistent with NMH’s mission. • Develop a comprehensive campaign plan and launch a public campaign.

Goal #4: Communicate impact. • Update school branding to better reflect core messages to align mission with the market. • Consistently communicate the school’s strategic priorities internally and externally. • Align investments of financial and human capital with strategic priorities.

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