January 4, 2018

by Peter Twadell, Head of School
Many of you may be familiar with Jim Collin's seminal work titled Good to Great, which explores key concepts that separate successful businesses from all others. Lesser well-known is his work Good to Great and the Social Sectors, where Collins explores the similarities and dissimilarities between for-profit companies and non-profits. One of my favorite themes in Collin's work is his belief in intentionality as a driver of success. More than that, he stresses the importance of "disciplined planning, disciplined people, disciplined governance, (and) disciplined allocation of resources."
As I acclimate to the James River community, I spend lots of time listening, learning, and looking at the interplay of our systems that support students, parents, and faculty. One area for greater focus that has emerged is the connection between the functions of the Front Office and the important work of our development and enrollment programs. In short, we weren't well aligned to allow focus and balance.
Working closely with the senior administration, we have invited Ginny Griffith to the Front Office each morning. Her addition allows Julie Coppage, who has bravely and ably managed not only the Front Office but substitute coordination, to move into a support role for admissions and enrollment, directly supporting Sally Horner. We are tremendously excited to be able to tap into Julie's administrative experience and welcome Ginny aboard.
An additional benefit of this move is to free Missy Craighill to move into a greater role supporting the School's development work. Coordinating directly with Pete York, Missy will take over full responsibility for our fundraising programs. Sally, who has done incredible work leading two essential efforts, will be able to focus on enrollment, long-term trends, and with the support of Ann Parker, strategic communication.
The addition of Ginny and re-focusing roles is very exciting for us, as we envision a greater ability to execute current plans and think more strategically. As Collins notes, "(b)uilding a great organization requires a shift to 'clock building' - shaping a strong, self-sustaining organization that can prosper beyond any single programmatic idea or visionary leader." Our team is excited by the opportunities that lie ahead for James River, connecting with potential families and those in our community who generously support our mission.