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Strategic Planning Process


Parent Input Sought in Strategic Planning Process

With the School’s strategic planning initiative now in the second phase of a two-year process, MPH is again seeking the input of parents, this time with regard to maximizing effectiveness in four specific areas of school operations. 

Head of School Scott Wiggins this week wrote to parents inviting their participation in one of three listening sessions with strategic planning consultant Maggie Szymanek. Those sessions are on Wednesday, Oct. 2 and Thursday, Oct. 3. The full text of his email is reprinted below.

Please note that, in the original email, there was a typographical error in Ms. Szymanek’s email address. Should parents wish to contact her to ask a question or offer a viewpoint, her email address (corrected below) is strategicplanning@mph.net.

Dear Parents,

The MPH Board of Trustees in the spring of this year adopted a pivotal set of Core Values and a compelling Mission Statement that will carry the School forward on its upward trajectory. Those actions followed a year of phase-one strategic planning in 2012-2013, which encompassed broad participation from constituencies within our MPH community.

The second phase of our strategic planning process, slated for 2013-2014, is already in full swing. Task Forces studying four critical areas of School ethos and operation have been meeting since August to distill suggestions for enhancing the MPH experience for the students who come here to learn and grow and for tapping into a broader base of motivated student applicants who would thrive here at MPH.

As we did in last year’s phase of strategic planning, we will be conducting listening sessions with constituent groups in October and November surrounding the Task Forces’ four specific areas of focus:

  • Admissions and Enrollment
  • Advancement (includes development and marketing)
  • Teaching the Whole Child (includes intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development)
  • Building and Grounds

These listening sessions will be facilitated by our strategic planning consultant, Maggie Szymanek, and will take place on the following dates and times in the Mower Boardroom in the Farmhouse:

  • Wednesday, October 2 from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. (morning meeting)
  • Wednesday, October 2 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. (evening meeting)
  • Thursday, October 3 from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. (morning meeting)

I encourage you to attend one of these three listening sessions next week to offer your views and observations to Maggie so that your voice can be included in the feedback we consider in arriving at a distilled strategic plan for the next three years.

Please do not hesitate to contact Maggie or me if you have any questions.  Maggie can be reached at strategicplanning@mph.net.


D. Scott Wiggins  Head of School



Core Values, Revised Mission Statement Developed

The Board of Trustees of Manlius Pebble Hill School is pleased to announce the results of the diligent work since early 2013 of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee – the development of a set of MPH core values and the revision of the School’s mission statement.

Last fall, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee completed a listening process that led to the establishment of a set of emerging themes centered around fiscal stability. These themes served as a guide to the Board of Trustees in the development and adoption of the 2013-14 annual operating budget and will lead to a sustainable fiscal position for the School now and in future years.

The listening sessions also served the Strategic Planning Steering Committee in its work toward establishing what MPH’s institutional identity is now and what it should be, going forward. Committee members worked through a number of exercises and brainstorming sessions in the spring to answer the questions of who or what MPH is, who or what MPH wants to be, and how the School will get there. The process involved developing a list of 10 identifiers, drawn primarily from the MPH mission statement. The identifiers were then refined into a list of the School’s beliefs – its core values. The Board of Trustees unanimously adopted eight core values at its April Board meeting.

Throughout this process, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee considered how the MPH mission statement could be revised to be consistent with the core values; to be clear, concise, enduring and inspiring; and to define why the School exists. At its April meeting, the Board of Trustees empowered the Committee to revise the School’s mission statement using these criteria.

Under the leadership of Jayne Charlamb, the Committee’s Chair, and the guidance of Maggie Szymanek, the strategic planning consultant, the Committee conducted another brainstorming session to develop a revised mission statement. The proposed statement was presented to the Board of Trustees and unanimously adopted on May 20, 2013.


                                 OUR MISSION…

                           to inspire our students

                   to think critically, act responsibly,

           and discover a passion for lifelong learning


 MPH Core Values

1. We are dedicated to the pursuit of distinguishable academic excellence.

2. We cultivate passionate, accomplished and invested teachers who challenge students to become inquisitive and independent learners.

3. We build self-confidence, respect, integrity, and strength of character throughout all grades.

4. We stimulate intellectual, emotional, social and physical development – we teach the whole child.

5. We believe children learn best in a caring, close-knit community that values diversity.

6. We foster a love of learning through creative problem-solving and critical thinking.

7. We strive to attract bright, motivated students who are prepared to partner with teachers and classmates to foster a mutually supportive learning environment.

8. We prepare students to become responsible contributors to the local and global community.


Going Forward

Over the next several months, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee will meet regularly to review information gathered on local, regional and national trends, school benchmarks and related data. Task Forces will be formed to work on charges pertaining to four major focus areas: admissions/enrollment, teaching the whole child, advancement, and buildings and grounds.

In the fall, a new series of listening sessions will be conducted for key stakeholder groups: parents, students, alumni, alumni parents, faculty and staff, and trustees. Surveys will be conducted in the winter for parents, faculty/staff and trustees. In February 2014, the Committee will review the summarized information and identify key issues to address, and will then hold a retreat in March. The results of the retreat will be refined next spring into a draft strategic plan, which will be presented to the Board of Trustees in May.

Once adopted by the Board, the three-year strategic plan will be announced in June 2014 and will become effective July 1, 2014.


Strategic Planning Steering Committee

Elizabeth Appleby

Peter Carmen

Jayne Charlamb ‘87

Joseph Colombo

Peter Englot

Tracy Frank

Eric Fung

Shannon Mageri

Richard Mason

Sinan Mimaroglu

Mandi Neave

Dawn Paciorek

Nat Reidel ’65

Karen Spina

Joy Strickland

D. Scott Wiggins, Head of School

Maggie Szymanek, Uncommon Consulting, Facilitator

Contact Us

For more information, please contact:

Lyndsay Hollis
Interim Director of Communications
315/446-2452, ext. 142