Solebury School's 2019-2020 Annual Report
Letter from the Chair of the Board
As I look back on Solebury School’s FY20, I am reminded that its end was the beginning of one of the most challenging times in the history of Solebury School, as it has been for the whole world. And yet, in many ways, it has also been one of the most successful.
This year’s report began with a celebration. On November 3, Solebury School announced the acquisition of 50 acres of adjacent land directly east of the school, which increased Solebury’s campus size to 140 acres and allows for expanded facilities and programming. The acquisition is historically significant as it restores a parcel of land to the Solebury campus that had been sold previously; it also represents growth and improvement for our beloved school, no longer limited by land development restrictions and impervious surface caps.
As time flowed into the holidays, we unknowingly enjoyed life, free of masks and without the common use of terms like social-distance and hybrid learning. The new year began with a growing sense of impending and potentially permanent change to our everyday lives as we knew them—at every level. Solebury has since navigated the COVID-19 pandemic with a wonderful sense of purpose, community, thoughtfulness, and effectiveness.
Tom, his staff, and the faculty have worked tirelessly throughout the new year and the spring to ensure our students were safe, that they continued to receive an uninterrupted, full, and rigorous education, and that they remained connected to Solebury in every possible way. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude for the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff and for Tom’s exemplary leadership.
Of the many achievements this year, I will mention a few. We moved seamlessly to a virtual teaching environment and provided a comprehensive curriculum to our students. We stayed connected to our parents and the wider Solebury community through many virtual town hall meetings. We modified the facilities over the summer to ensure that our students could return safely in the fall with a full health center and social-distance learning.
We applied for and received a government grant to keep us financially viable during the pandemic. We held a first of its kind, joy-filled, successful drive in, outdoor graduation and provided a truly memorable send-off to our Seniors. Most importantly, because of all these wonderful efforts, we opened the new school year with the highest high school enrollment in the school’s history.
Tom, the staff, and the faculty should indeed be proud of these achievements and I, along with the board, salute them for their superb efforts.
I believe that Solebury will emerge from this difficult time in an even better position and I am proud to be associated with such a great school.
I want to particularly thank the members of our Solebury community acknowledged in this annual report for their strong support which enabled us to surpass our goals for both the Solebury Fund and the auction, set before we ever knew there would be a pandemic and a testament to the strength of our community.
Finally, I must recognize my fellow Board members for their unwavering support and encouragement during this strange and eventful year. I will conclude on a happy personal note, my son Christopher, who graduated from Solebury in 2011, recently got engaged—a bright spot in a difficult year.
I am always interested in hearing any suggestions you may have, and you may contact me via the school at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liz Tallett Wavle P'11
Chair of the Board