Strategic Planning

Building our vision together

Periods of extreme disruption such as the one we are currently in compel us to think differently about everything—opening up opportunity and providing impetus for growth. At Gould, we are striving to take full advantage of this moment.

We're choosing this time to take a fresh look at the school's mission statement, to renew the values that guide our decision-making, and articulate a clear vision of Gould's future with a strategy for long-term success.  Engaging the whole community in this effort will gain us the benefit of diverse perspectives, building broad alignment.

How it works

Who is Greenwich Leadership Partners (GLP)? 
To help ensure that we do our work thoroughly and well, the Board of Trustees has engaged Stephanie Rogen, the author of Creating Schools that Thrive, and her team at Greenwich Leadership Partners. This firm has extensive experience working with schools to guide them through a strategic design process. GLP is a consulting firm that helps many schools with strategic planning.  

What is a strategic plan? 
According to Greenwich Leadership Partners, “Planning is where strategy and leadership come together in a dynamic process for designing the future, making decisions and executing effectively."  

How will GLP help Gould?
  • Plan strategically for the future.
  • Harness our talent in the present.
  • Build capacity to execute in the present and future.
How does this get done? 
  • Workshops and focus group meetings
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Surveys to all types of stakeholders
Who will take a lead role? 
  • We all will. Community members' voices and ideas lead us forward. 
  • The Strategic Design Team will manage the process.  Team members include trustees, faculty and staff, parents, students, and alumni. 

Gould Strategic Design Team Members

1st row:
Sam Adams '77, P'18, Trustee
Doug Alford P'18, '20, Faculty
Rick Foyston '75, P'14, Trustee, Design Team Co-Chair
Maggie Furneaux '97, P'25, '26, Trustee

2nd row:
Ben Kamilewicz, Faculty
Frank Lee P'10, Former Trustee
Stephanie Montgomery P’00, Trustee ‘07-’10, ‘13 - ‘19, Faculty
Alex Norden, Faculty

3rd row:
Desiree Plata '99
Sara Shifrin '88, P'19, '23, Faculty, Design Team Co-Chair
Hannah Stevenson P'26, P'28, Parent
Ron Tomen '22, Student

What's new? Updates about our progress

List of 7 news stories.

  • Welcoming Desirée Plata '99 to Commencement

    This year’s commencement ceremony speaker will be Desirée Plata ’99. She is passionate about protecting the quality of the air, water and soil, and educating the next generation of engineers, especially with regard to the influence of their designs on the natural world. She has recently been named to our Board of Trustees and also serves on our Strategic Design Committee. Learn more about her in this GAzette article published in 2020
  • How we got here: A letter from Phyllis Gardiner, Board President and Tao Smith, Head of School

    The Board of Trustees is tremendously grateful for the amazing job that teachers, coaches, administrators, housekeeping staff, the health center team, and maintenance and kitchen staff have done for nearly two years now to keep everyone safe and well. We also appreciate the confidence that Gould families have placed in our team by keeping their students in school with us. The health challenges continue, but it is now time to begin lifting our gaze from the daily tasks of coping with the pandemic and look to the future.
    Read More
  • Announcing the appointment of a Strategic Design Team

    Gould is proud to announce the appointment of a Strategic Design Team comprised of trustees, faculty and staff, parents, students, and alumni. Leading the team as co-chairs are: trustee Rick Foyston ’75, P’14, who also chairs the Board’s Futures Task Force, and faculty member and Director of Innovation at Gould, Sara Shifrin ’88, P’19, P’23, who has been practicing and training others in design thinking for many years. One of the team's first tasks will be working with GLP on a survey to solicit input from all sectors of the Gould community.
  • Planning session to discuss the upcoming survey and distribution methods

    Today GLP hosted a meeting with Gould leadership about the upcoming survey and distribution methods.  The survey will be completed by students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and families.
  • Coffee Chat - recording from 3/2 and upcoming schedule

    During the March Head of School Coffee Chat on Wednesday, Mr. Smith introduced Karen Burns, our new Director of Development, and also presented updates on things the school is currently working on. The recording of Wednesday's session will be available for 30 days

    The next Head of School chat will be hosted on April 6th. We usually host a Faculty Coffee Chat on the second Wednesday of the month but there won’t be one in March due to vacation.
  • Employee workshop with GLP

    All employees are invited to attend.  Teachers, administrative employees, and 12-month coaches are required to attend.  GLP will be providing prompts and exercises to gather information from Gould employees.
  • Strategic Planning is the Focus of Board Retreat

    The Gould Board of Trustees and Leadership Team met for a retreat focused on strategic planning.  Greenwich Leadership Partners hosted the online session. Agenda items included:
    Framing for the Meeting/Taking Stock - Our objectives/agenda
    Adaptive Boards and Strategy
    -Role of the Board in Strategy
    -Testing assumptions
    -The partnership work of the Board and Head
    Developing Vision: A Structured Dialogue with the Head of School
    Moving From Here to There: An Agenda for the Future

    Leading up to the session, participants were assigned the following readings:
Questions about the planning process may be directed to Sara Shifrin, who may answer or direct to other members of the Gould Strategic Design Team.

Sara Whalen Shifrin ’88, P’19,’23
Director of Innovation
Gould is a small, co-ed, independent boarding school for grades 8-PG.  We are passionate about preparing academically motivated students for college, helping them to become independent-minded, ethical citizens who will lead lives of purpose, action, excellence, and compassion in a dynamic world.