Last week I spoke with the Greenwood Faculty and Staff about the Vision for Greenwood’s future—where we are headed, and why. For an already established, successful organization that does things well, it is easy to become complacent or to fall into a routine of only doing what worked before. However, we know that no one individual, group, classroom, or grade level is ever the same from year to year, and innovation and flexibility are always necessary to enable sustainable success.
The brief interpretation of what I’m trying to say is best captured by Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great…Why Some Companies Make the Leap, and Others Don’t when he stated, “managing your problems can only make you good, whereas building your opportunities is the only way to become great.”
Greenwood is very good at what we do—but we will not give into the temptation to remain at “good.” This year we have embarked on a journey that is focused on a broader vision for Greenwood’s future:
Greenwood School will continue to be the best educational environment for average to above average middle and high school students with learning differences by providing a dynamic, safe, holistic, community-oriented program of rich and practical academics, responsible character reinforcement and modeling, and opportunity-focused goal setting.
Greenwood School will be positioned to export our research-based and empirically tested outcomes and processes as the recognized experts in educating Exceptional Students.
So what are those opportunities that we must build in pursuit of this vision of becoming great? There are several general areas in which we will focus first in order to lay the foundation to build upon:
- Faculty and Staff Expertise: Our Professional Development Program that I’ve written about in previous postings is generating innovative and collaborative improvements in our academic programs, thanks to the commitment of our faculty and staff to connect with current research and to integrate it into their daily practice.
- Optimization of Current Assets: Exciting plans for ecologically responsible, safety-conscious, and educationally focused use of the full ten acres of our wetlands property are moving forward from just being an idea to becoming a well-defined plan of action.
- Community Connections: Exporting the expertise of Greenwood includes faculty pursuing advanced degrees; students and faculty co-presenting scientific research at the Florida Council of Independent Schools Annual Convention in November; ten students who were selected for and participated in various leadership conferences and advocacy forums over the summer at Harvard, Yale, UCLA, and the State Legislature in Tallahassee; and Staff leadership in the local nonprofit community as well as state and national professional organizations.
There are roles for everyone to contribute to Greenwood School’s pursuit to take a good program and make it GREAT—stay tuned here each week, and please continue to provide feedback!
Dr. Anthony D. Mortimer