At the beginning of last year, The Gregory School welcomed the new head, Dr. Julie Sherrill. Sherrill hoped for many changes in her first year, but some weren’t able to happen.
Some changes were number effected to help the school financially. This meant letting people go to reduce the number of positions, and this meant changing positions for some people. Including eliminating the middle school and high school head.
Other people were let go to help the school financially like Mr. Roberts. Dr. Sherrill felt many positions were to aid the student body like Mr. Robert’s position as the dean. Sherrill said, “What I envisioned was a position that truly focused on the care and well-being of students from the time we consider you as a student being admitted in to St. Gregory [Last year before the name change] until commencement day.”
The positions for these services were consolidated into the Director of Student Services given to Ms. Babbit. This eliminated other people jobs to help with finances.
With the name change this year, Ms. Babbit’s job changed to help the school to be positively recepted with the new name and increase the enrollments. This meant that the student services position needed more help from the faculty like Mr. Lorimer and Ms. Barnett. Sherrill wanted to create one position that covered all student services, but after one year she chose more faculty to help student services.
Letting go of Mr. Roberts raised questions about the Kenya trip, 12 hour STG (now TGS), ropes course, and retreats. The Kenya Trip did happen last year and will happen this year. Grade level trips will continue this last year with Mr. Lorimer’s help. However, the 12 hour and ropes course haven’t happened. For the ropes course to happen would result in at least 15,000 dollars for repair and new equipment. The 12 hour could have happened, but Sherrill wanted a proposal from motivated students for the event, and she is still willing to do it this year.
Last year, Sherrill informed the journalists that she wished for a sweet spot of about 350-400 students. She felt that this was the right number for TGS while being able to operate perfectly in terms of finance. However, this year there was a drop in the number of students and her “sweet spot” compared to last year. Drop in her “sweet spot” went from 350-400 to 300-350 students. Sherrill said, “In fact I worry about 400 now…350 would be fantastic.” She felt enrollment growing more than 350 would require a “master plan” to expand or improve classrooms and even the campus.
In her first year Sherrill wanted to increase enrollment by the 2014-2015 year, but there was a drop in enrollment. Sherrill has proposed new ideas to increase enrollment. One idea is to visit big companies like Raytheon, so they reference our school to the workers with families that recently moved here to Tucson.
Another idea was to add a 5th grade which has successfully opened to help compete with other schools and retain more students. Sherrill formed a new retention committee consisting of middle school faculty. This committee would look over the things that work or do not work in terms of 8th graders staying for 9th grade.
Last year, Sherrill was hoping to sit in classes for improvement, but she wasn’t able to as much. However, she plans to sit in more classes this year, so she able to provide more feedback for improvement or be able to use that information when informing others about the school.
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