Dear Bush Community,
The 2020-2021 school year feels so distant, yet right over our shoulders. We approached the year with optimism and hope, flexible in our planning and fluid in our thinking. Keeping our community whole was our priority, and in order to do so we committed to being nimble, took on new roles, and learned to let our fears and anxieties flow all around us. Like water.
Each Bush student experienced these unprecedented times differently, yet collectively they found ways to deepen their commitments, broaden their perspectives, and engage more passionately in the activities and causes most meaningful to them. This helped them wade through deep and stormy currents, and emerge stronger. In this issue of Gratitude, you will read some of these amazing stories, and stand in awe, as we did last year, of their strength and perseverance.
We also marveled at the myriad ways our volunteers, donors, and Board of Trustees supported the school, sustaining our families, faculty, staff, and students. They helped us to celebrate our teachers and staff for their extraordinary efforts all year, honor our financial commitments to families receiving need-based financial aid, ensure that our students’ environment was safe and their experiences robust even when the circumstances around them felt uncertain. The Bush Board of Trustees were able and steady stewards of the school, helping us move through 2020-2021 safely, confidently, and with an eye on the school’s future.
A year spent building relationships, confidence, and resilience, coincided with breaking ground and setting the foundation for the New Upper School Building. The 20,000 square foot masterpiece was designed to create active learning environments for students and teachers, and to honor the school’s commitment to environmental sustainability. This effort, which began in 2017 and will culminate with the opening of the building in March 2022, could not have happened without the caring and generous support of our donors and volunteers.
In 2020-2021, generosity was in abundance. I am so grateful to the families who helped us reach and exceed our annual giving goals. These funds allowed us to meet our yearly operating needs at a time when we anticipated losses in personnel, revenue, and student enrollment. We were fortunate that those losses did not materialize, and that these gifts went to support critical strategic priorities for the school and its future.
Philanthropy is a big umbrella, and our goal is for that umbrella to reach all of us so that we can foster a true sense of belonging. Even in a storm.
I am grateful to each of you and fortunate to be a part of this amazing school’s present and future.
Percy L. Abram, Ph.D.
Head of School