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Heads Up: Weekly Letters from Tim


Dr. Timothy M. Johnson


First, a proud shout out to the cast (70+ strong!), crew, and pit musicians of our winter musical Bring It On!, which opened last night to cheer-ful fanfare. Special gratitude to our performing arts team and to the many parents who provided food, decorations, and pep talks at home this week. It takes a theatrical village at Pingree. Break a leg tonight, Cast B!

Here at Pingree, we are constantly evaluating why we do what we do. Is it pedagogically sound? Is it mission-centered? Will this serve our students for their futures? And so on. Proudly watching the emerging identities on stage last night and their ability to take on complex issues, some things seem obvious; but it's important to ask: Why coeducation?

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Dr. Timothy M. Johnson


Your children provided an exuberant jolt of spring joy during our all-school assembly yesterday morning when the stage turned into a cafe space for student performances. The assembly was completely organized and run by students, and your children snapped, clapped, waved cellphone lights, and gave standing ovations to their courageous and skilled classmates. It was exactly what we needed during this late February stretch.

It's humbling to observe the confidence, humor, skill, and personalities that emerge during these moments. Shy students who are known in a certain way seize the spotlight to share a side of themselves that is both authentic and heartfelt. Timidity, embarrassment, and the fear of rejection fall away to reveal the care and relationships that are the best of our school.

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Dr. Timothy M. Johnson


Last Sunday, a little after the snow began to fall, Jen and I had a power surge at our house. The lights and electricity flickered and then quickly went back on, but internet, cable, and phone did not. And for the next 72 hours — Sunday to Wednesday — we did not have phone, cable, internet, or cell connectivity (the infamously maddening one-bar Hamilton reception). It felt like the first time in years that we were completely disconnected from the world. It was bizarre, exhilarating, and really uncomfortable all at once. Routines were upside down. After trekking to and from school to chip away at work, time seemed to warp in synch with family.

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Dr. Timothy M. Johnson


Thinking strategically requires sharp focus and an adaptive mindset. Proud of who we are today, Pingree is only as relevant and strong as our ambitions to create an exceptional learning experience for future students. While program review and development are constant at Pingree, a guiding strategy provides the compass to navigate larger institutional decisions.

The Board of Trustees and colleagues met for a retreat two weeks ago to begin the process of crafting a guiding document to outline our strategic goals going forward. Utilizing our mission; 10-year NEASC accreditation report; faculty, staff, parent, and student feedback with consultant Chris Doktor; and our most recent alumni and parent surveys, our Board of Trustees was well equipped to begin clarifying priorities for future excellence at Pingree. The whole of our plan will be greater than the parts, with the primary focus being student learning, support, and achievement.

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Dr. Timothy M. Johnson


As I prepare my annual tuition letter, I am acutely aware of how important it is for Pingree to have a concrete impact on our students and the world around us. While all successful schools must rethink and redesign for relevance and excellence, Pingree is fortunate to have many strengths upon which to build. Our current strategic planning process and NEASC accreditation review last year reaffirmed the intense engagement between our faculty and students, our innovative model of choice and voice in program development, and our preparation of confident, skilled graduates for a dynamic, changing culture in higher education and society.

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