In 2005, co-founders, Chuck and Helene Debelak, together with members of the Birchwood community, thoughtfully and deliberately, started plans for making Birchwood School a permanent institution. In essence, the process required transitioning from a founders-run school – one guided and buoyed by the personality, energy, and commitment of the founders – to a school led by a board of directors and constructed to carry the essential mission into the future beyond the tenure of the founders and the founding teachers.
In this video Mr. and Mrs. Debelak discuss Birchwood’s history as well as where we are today in our transition. They are extending an invitation to the entire Birchwood Community to join them in securing the Birchwood mission and in bringing this special educational opportunity to more students and their families.
It Begins with an Investment
This April’s Legacy Dinner & Auction is the launch of Birchwood School of Hawken – Securing our Future
Securing our Future, with the view of building on the school’s academic excellence, begins with an investment in our programs and our people – our Signature Programs and Professional Development.
Three main factors drive the school’s academic excellence: 1) the quality of instruction and innovation in each classroom driven by trained subject specialists, 2) robust professional development that guides teachers toward excellence in their field, and 3) our Signature Programs – perhaps one of the best collections of academic opportunities found anywhere in the country. How have we managed and sustained this level of excellence? Volunteerism and “sweat equity.” The price of excellence has been the extraordinary commitment and work of those who started Birchwood and those who have dedicated themselves to excellence at Birchwood.
Historically, our Signature Programs are not only recognized regionally, statewide, and across the nation, but more meaningfully have made a lasting impact on Birchwood graduates. Participation in these programs, develop the skills and habits in children that cause them to become confident, forward-thinking, and enthusiastic learners and professionals who are eager to grow to their full potential.
Yet we must be realistic. Programming that is based upon volunteerism and sweat equity is not sustainable. Even though it works for the founders and founding teachers, a permanent institution cannot expect to hire and retain high quality educators with these expectations.
Thus, we invite you and your friends to join us Saturday, April 4 for an adult evening in support Birchwood’s Signature Programs and Professional Development over the next three years – through 2023.
We hope you will help us launch, Securing our Future, at our Legacy Dinner & Auction which will be held on Saturday, April 4. We would like to see the benefits of a Birchwood education reach far into the future.