Annual Report of Giving 2017-2018
A Letter from the Headmaster
In June, 2018, we wrapped up Commonwealth School’s 60th year. There have been times in our history when members of our community wondered how so small a school in the city could thrive over the long term. Commonwealth’s leadership and Board have understood all along the challenges our scale poses: we must do so many of the things larger schools do—from outreach and admissions to increased support services to students to cultivating our community of alumni—but we do it on a smaller financial base. Those activities absorb a larger percentage of our tuition revenues than they do at larger schools.
The last twenty-five years have demonstrated the strength of the school and its community. With 146 students and a faculty that, as a visitor once noted, would be the envy of any small college, let alone school, we are in good institutional health and are poised to thrive for the longer term.
We owe our success to two factors. First, we work efficiently. Thanks to the talent, versatility, and energy of our faculty and administrative teams, we have been able to keep up with the bigger schools in the area with trimmer staffing and budgets. Our efficiency also allows us to direct more of our resources to students and teachers, where it most counts. Our scholarships and other forms of student support stand out from the pack, while faculty salaries, our sabbatical program, and opportunities for professional growth remain competitive.
The second reason for our success remains the broad and deep support we enjoy from our community of parents, alumni/ae, families and friends. The Commonwealth Fund, with its gratifying growth in recent years, provides critical resources that enable us to punch above our weight, and give us confidence as we look ahead. Thank you.
A Message from the Chair of the Board
Spending time last year with the two student board reps (Iman and Tarang) reignited my commitment and that of many other board trustees to helping the school in every way we can. The students’ articulation of daily life at Commonwealth and the struggles and commitment they and their fellow students have made to obtain the best education possible, is what Commonwealth does best. Charles Merrill, who established the tradition of student board reps as an avenue for growth and involvement for students in the governance of the school, would have been very proud.
Charles founded a school that relies on collaboration and input from its community. His commitment to thoughtful debate and careful analysis created an energy that continues to resonate today. In the latest issue of CM, a tribute to Charles, members of the Commonwealth community shared memories of Mr. Merrill. His quiet compassion and fierce dedication were constants throughout the tributes.
With an ongoing commitment to Charles’s original vision, we are grateful for the continued support of this community. Thank you for contributing to The Commonwealth Fund.
Therese Hendricks P'05, '07
Chair of the Board of Trustees