Mar 18, 2024

Returning to Ravenscroft

It is a rare instance when one gets to go back to “where it all started”, honor leaders past, present and future, and work with the board of trustees to advance the school through an extraordinary leadership transition.  And, that is just how I spent my Wednesday of last week.

In 2005 — nearly 20 years ago — we launched the first of two strategic planning processes with Ravenscroft in Raleigh, North Carolina.  It was just our second year in business and Doreen Kelly’s first years as head of school.  What followed was a long-term relationship on strategy, planning, enrollment and marketing work.  Then, just a year ago, Doreen announced her planned retirement, fresh off a new strategic plan designed to carry the school into the future and preparing a new leader to advance the legacy of leadership that she had so thoughtfully cultivated.

In January, Derrick Willard — current and outgoing head at Augusta Prep — was named the next head at Ravenscroft.  Augusta Prep is also a current strategic planning client and, through our work together, I have gotten to know Derrick even better than I did as a professional colleague.  And, Derrick will leave behind not just a fantastic legacy of leadership at Prep, but also a strategic plan for his successor to follow.

Last Wednesday, I had the distinct opportunity to lead and facilitate a board retreat on the Ravenscroft campus designed to build an industry exemplar of leadership succession and transition planning.  Working with the board, Doreen and Derrick, we spent the day discussing the future, following the existing strategic plan as roadmap for the future.  It was an extraordinary day filled with some of the most amazing leaders I have worked with at a school that I cherish.

Not a bad Wednesday.  Thanks Doreen and Derrick.  Proud to call you friends, colleagues and industry leaders.

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