The By-Laws of Phil-Mont Christian Academy provide that the Academy’s mission is “to provide excellent academic education from a consistent Christian world-and-life view for the children in Christian families.” This mission is entrusted to a Board of Trustees. Each meeting of the Board of Trustees begins and ends with prayer, and includes a brief devotional prepared by one of the Trustees. Between meetings, business is conducted by the Executive Committee. Other Committees (e.g., Finance, Facilities, and Fundraising) meet regularly and report to the full Board. Discussion of these reports, and any reports submitted by the Head of School or other administrators, is one of the main activities at the Board’s meetings, and highlights of those reports will appear here from time to time. References to the Redesign Task Force and Redesign process refer to our efforts to make Phil-Mont a sustainable school for 250 students, without compromising the quality of the educational program, while maintaining a balanced annual budget and holding fast to our core biblical values.
Meetings of the Board of Trustees often involve discussion and action related to personnel issues, confidential matters, and matters that are under consideration but not ripe for public dissemination. Being mindful of its obligations to be good stewards of Phil-Mont, the Board cannot make public postings about such matters. When appropriate, however, the Board will address them in letters to the Phil-Mont community or in Town Hall meetings.
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Board News (most recent news first):
One or more Trustees will be available to meet with a parent, alumnus, or other constituent during the forty minutes immediately prior to the Board’s regularly scheduled meetings. These meetings must be requested and scheduled forty-eight hours prior to the Board meeting, and are subject to Trustee availability. The request should state the subject that will be discussed and identify the speaker and his or her connection to Phil-Mont.
Each Constituent Meeting will last no more than ten minutes, and no more than three Constituents may schedule individual meetings prior to any one Board meeting.
Upcoming Board Retreat: October 20 & 21
The Board is focusing on developing Strategic Plans for each committee as well as Ad-hoc committees in order to determine the direction the school should go in the next 3-5 years and to ensure the plans align with the mission and purpose of Phil-mont Christian Academy. Plans will be presented and discussed at the October Board Retreat. Other key areas of focus and updates include:
- Amendments to the By-laws to reflect our current makeup were discussed and further amendments to be recommended at the Retreat.
- The Board will be recruiting Trustee candidates to fill open positions on the Board
- Planning for the 75th school Anniversary in 2018 will be getting underway later this year
- Accepting the resignation of Trustee Christopher Wood and thanking him for his service
- Appointment of Trustees Diane Olinger as Vice President and Stacey Parker-Johnson as Secretary
April 10, 2017
The Board’s April meeting focused on preparing for two subsequent meetings—one with the faculty on April 20 and the Town Hall meeting on April 24. Presentations on school finances, fundraising, and enrollment/retention efforts were reviewed and refined.
- Suzy Liegel updated the Board on the faculty contract process for the 2017-18 school year.
- The Education Committee reported that teacher observations are underway, spearheaded by our lead teachers in each of the three school levels.
- The Fundraising Committee reported encouraging results from Adam Porcella’s new work as Director of Advancement, a position the Board has asked him to assume in addition to his regular duties as DOSA.
February 13, 2017
The Board met with Principal Suzy Liegel, in her capacity as Interim Head-Elect, to discuss, among other things, plans for the 2017-18 school year. Other highlights from the meeting were:
- The Board passed a preliminary balanced budget for 2017-18.
- The Board received a proposal for hiring an International Students Coordinator, and authorized efforts to draft a job description and compensation package, as well as identify a candidate for the position.
- The Minority Faculty Recruitment Committee updated the Board on its plans to attend the upcoming Temple job fair.
- The Board authorized the formation of an Early Education Task Force by the Education Committee to develop plans for a pre-K program for the 2018-19 school year.
- A Town Hall meeting has been scheduled for Monday, April 24, 2017, at 7:00 pm.
January 9, 2017
The Board met with Head of School Don Beebe who presented the school calendar for 2017-18 and updated the Board on the custodial services transition, after school care, and business office operations, among other matters. Other business conducted at the meeting included:
- The Board reviewed a first draft of the budget for 2017-18.
- The Board heard more details about the Feed the Need fundraiser, on which we’ll be assisted by Champion Group.
- The Board authorized the Financial Aid Committee to approve, without FACTS submissions, 2017-18 financial aid packages at the 2016-17 level (subject only to changes based on movement from one school level to another) for re-enrolling families who have had no significant change in their financial situation.
- The Home School Exploratory Committee reported to the Board on the results and analysis of the recent survey of home schooling families. The Board approved the report and authorized Phil-Mont administration to pursue its recommendations.
- The Board adopted a new policy facilitating meetings between individuals from the school community and Trustees prior to Board meetings. Details will be published in News You Can Use and on the website.
- The Board approved an organizational redesign and reporting structure and requested that Don Beebe as Head and Suzy Liegel as prospective Interim Head coordinate on its implementation.
December 12, 2016
Principal Suzy Liegel and DOSA Adam Porcella met with the Board to present a draft of an organizational redesign and reporting structure. Other matters discussed included: the custodial services transition, the Champion fundraising program, and the upcoming budgeting process. The Board decided to establish a Phil-Mont Education Fund account for the purpose of properly managing received fundraising revenue that will support both current year and future financial aid packages for students and families.
November 29, 2016
The Board resolved to offer the position of Interim Head for the 2017-18 school year to Suzy Liegel, upon terms to be outlined in a letter to her by the Secretary. Other business conducted at the meeting included:
- Accepting the resignation of Trustee Tom Leahy, thanking him for his years of service, and electing Diane Olinger to fill the vacancy in the position of Board Secretary.
- Preparation for presentations to be made to the faculty at their Collegial Conversations meeting and to the school community at a Town Hall on December 1.
- Discussion of the need for designated administrative hours committed to fundraising and development.
- Review of the international students program and how best to support and strengthen it.
November 14, 2016
Reports were received from the Head of School, and the Finance, Fundraising, and Executive Committees. The Head and a representative from each Committee responded to questions about the reports. The Board discussed the possibility of appointing an Interim Head for the 2017-18 school year.
The Board heard updates on certain aspects of the Redesign process, including the formation of an Education Committee and a Home School Exploratory Committee. The Redesign Task Force may be reconvened in early 2017.
November 2, 2016
In accordance with the By-Laws, one of the Board’s duties is to “extend the Head’s contract in a systematic and timely manner or, in likewise manner, bring it to closure.” The Head’s current contract, by its terms, expires in June 2017. At a Special Meeting, the Board voted not to renew the contract.
October 21 and 22, 2016
The Board met for its Annual Retreat to give extended time for discussion and analysis of matters before it, with an emphasis on the future of the school. Fundraising and finances dominated the first day of the Retreat. Trustee John Livingston spoke to the Board about the role fundraising can play in sustainability. He also discussed the importance of revitalizing relationships with alumni and other donors. Trustee John Shaw presented financial information to the Board and stressed the importance for the Redesign process to address the bottom line. On the second day of the Retreat, the Head of School presented a historical and current perspective of his role, of the roles of other administrative staff, and on how the general school culture has evolved during his tenure. The Board then assessed feedback and recommendations from the Redesign Task Force and other members of the Phil-Mont community. Action was taken on a number of personnel matters and cost-cutting measures. The Board also discussed modifications to the school schedule to allow for greater sharing of resources among levels of the school and easier integration of home schoolers into Phil-Mont classes.