• Annual Report 1718


In This Issue
Letter from the Head of School
Your Gifts in Action
Volunteer Snapshots
  • Zoe Pottinger ’18
  • Adrien Hefta-Gaub
  • Kevin and Julia Baker
  • Urs Koenig
  • Diana Cohen
  • Ian's Memory Shines Down Like the Sun
  • Honoring Creativity: Volunteering in the Classroom
  • Giving Trends
  • Challenge Success
  • Community Partnership: Making a Difference
Photo Collections
  • Class of 1968 Fiftieth Reunion
  • Class of 2018 Graduation

Letter from the Head of School

I selected Purpose as the theme for the 2017-2018 school year, not only because of the role it plays in shaping the school’s values and mission, but also because of the role The Bush School has played in helping our students and graduates find a sense purpose. Social scientists posit that humans developed a sense of purpose as part of their drive to accomplish big things.

This past year, with your help, we graduated an incredibly resilient class of seniors, connected young students to mentors, challenged our students to take risks in their academic and co-curricular programs, provided robust parent education opportunities, and, day by day, sought to find greatness through acts of goodness. 

You will notice that we have re-named our Annual Report Gratitude. Practicing gratitude is an act of giving back. We are grateful to our community for giving to Bush and ensuring that our faculty and staff can build strong programs that inspire our students every day. Your role in the Bush community—as alumni, parents, trustees, and friends—allows the Board, administration, and faculty to help tomorrow’s leaders find their purpose in a challenging and nurturing environment.

This year’s edition of Gratitude illustrates how The Bush School lives its mission through our financial commitments and priorities. In these stories, you will read about volunteers who enrich our programs, the state of philanthropy in the United States, and the innumerable ways your generous support contributes directly to making an impact on the people and programs at The Bush School. 

Without the generosity of every member of our community, we would not be able to fulfill our mission: to spark in students of diverse backgrounds and talents a passion for learning, accomplishment, and contribution to their communities. Every gift of time and treasure, every gathering attended, and every moment taken out of your day to see the humanity in one another enhances the Bush experience. For that, I am most grateful.

It is my pleasure to present the 2017-2018 Bush Annual Report, Gratitude. I hope that you will read through with pride in what we’ve accomplished together and consider how you would like to be involved in our school in the year to come.

On behalf of everyone at Bush, thank you for your support.

With deep gratitude,

Percy L. Abram, Ph.D.
Head of School

Thank You to Our Donors

Great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this report. If we have omitted or misspelled your name, or if you have any name, address or family information changes, please contact The Bush School’s Development Office at development@bush.edu.

View our 2017-2018 donors

Your Gifts in Action

    • volunteer snapshots


List of 5 news stories.

  • Student Snapshot: Zoe Pottinger ’18

    Director of College Counseling Melissa Lanctot shares her gratitude for Zoe Pottinger ’18:

    “Even though Zoe ’18 is now across the country at college, I still think about her and her lasting legacy at The Bush School every day as I step foot onto campus. Zoe has a magical way of linking together purpose and passion. She is able to recognize a problem, think it through in collaboration with others, and then get to business resolving it. For example, she noticed that Upper School students were lacking spaces to gather and sit in Wissner. At the same time, she saw that a lack of storage was contributing to the scattering of backpacks on the building floors which was unsafe for students, faculty, and staff alike. Her solution? Benches that would simultaneously serve as places to sit and vessels under which to stack bags—a thoughtful, practical, and incredibly Zoe resolution. People, physical spaces, and beauty are important to Zoe. For her Senior Project, she restored the garden on the Gracemont lawn, transforming it into a welcoming and safe space for all. The finishing touch was a rainbow colored sign in memory of her classmate Toby Faber ’18 that reads: “You are all wonderful people.” Scattered across the lawn surrounding the garden are new picnic tables designed for pockets of people to gather together in order to think, create, and simply be. Zoe is gracious and grateful, and we are so lucky to have had her as one of our students for thirteen years.”
    Read More
  • Volunteer Snapshot: Adrien Hefta-Gaub

    Director of Development Sharon Hurt shares her gratitude for Adrien Hefta-Gaub:
    “Adrien (Saffron ’18, Zola ’20) has served in many important volunteer capacities at The Bush School. She is known among faculty, staff, and parents as the “go-to” person for all things Bush, but mostly how to get involved and engage in the life of the school. Her knowledge, warmth, organization, and energy help bring our community together. We are so grateful that she chose Bush as a second home for her family.”
    Read More
  • Volunteer Snapshot: Diana Cohen

    Upper School Director Ray Wilson shares his gratitude for Diana Cohen:

    “Diana Cohen (Alison ’17, Ryan ’21) has exemplified the true meaning of parent volunteer. Diana has devoted time to helping the Upper School and the Athletic Department streamline communication. In addition, she has served as a Families Association representative, a lead Admissions tour guide parent volunteer, and the resident parent photographer for team sports, creating the annual Upper School Athletics Banquet slideshow. With her expertise in website construction and attention to detail, Diana has helped to improve our information flow throughout the portal. I am appreciative of Diana’s hard work, long hours, and dedication. Diana can be counted on to provide clear, honest, and timely feedback, while at the same time being a source of inspiration and collaboration.”
    Read More
  • Volunteer Snapshot: Kevin and Julia Baker

    Lower School Director Pri Alahendra shares her gratitude for Kevin and Julia Baker:

    “Kevin and Julia Baker (Ben ’28, Will ’30) are true partners in their children’s journey here at The Bush School. They listen, ask questions, and partner with us around ways to support their children and their family with an open heart and an open mind. They attend parent education events, help in admissions, serve as grade-level reps and on the Board of Trustees, and much more. They are a positive, kind and warm presence in Lower School. I had the pleasure of meeting Kevin and Julia my first year here at Bush as they were Kindergarten parents in the classroom as I taught their child Ben. We were all new to Bush together and yet I felt that they welcomed me, as they were always supportive and thoughtful in their interactions. Kevin’s and Julia’s unfailing ability to follow up any meeting or interaction with a sincere note of appreciation is so incredible! They always take the time to show gratitude, which brings home that sense of love and belonging we work towards in Lower School.”
    Read More
  • Volunteer Snapshot: Urs Koenig

    Head of School Percy L. Abram shares his gratitude for Urs Koenig:

    “As a volunteer and Middle School parent, Urs (Luc ’24) is a pleasure  to work with. His love for the school is present in his interactions with others; he is kind, thoughtful, and a caring, skillful communicator. Urs has spent much of his professional life helping others find their paths, so he’s an expert at identifying and amplifying people’s sense of purpose. Whether Urs is sharing his journey to becoming a United Nations Military Peacekeeper at  Upper School Career Day or agreeing to chair our largest parent education event, Parent University, in 2019, Urs always helps create incredible school experiences  that are well-organized, joyful, and beautiful.”
    Read More


List of 6 news stories.

  • Challenge Success

    Each summer, the faculty and staff in the Upper School choose a book to read together that will inform our practice the following year. Over the summer of 2016, the Upper School faculty and staff read Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids and the following May, author Denise Pope met with faculty to discuss changes to school programming that might better support our students. Denise Pope is also a founding member of Challenge Success, a project that originated from the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, to address student stress and the level of engagement of students in our schools. The goal of Challenge Success is to collaborate with schools and families to create both an academically fulfilling and balanced life for students.
    Read More
  • Community Partnership: Making a Difference

    "For nearly two decades, The Bush School has provided access to life-changing, college prep educational opportunities to dozens of Rainier Scholars students, and our students have, in turn, helped to make Bush a more diverse, equitable and inclusive learning environment for all. The impact of this paartnership on the lives of students across the school is felt deeply, and we are grateful for the commitment of so many who make this possible. An investment in financial aid to make a Bush education accessible to all is an investment in the future leadership of this community and region, as all students become more equipped to navigate the ever-more diverse society of the twenty-first century.” ­— Sarah Smith, Executive Director of Rainier Scholars 
    Read More
  • Giving Trends

    It is always helpful to know where you stand. In the world of charitable giving, the preeminent intel is Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy. For sixty years, this has been the publication reporting on the amount, sources, and uses of charitable giving in the United States. This is valuable data for fundraisers, nonprofit leaders, donors, volunteers, scholars, and others who work in the development sector and count on comprehensive charitable giving data to guide strategy, tell a national story, and, on a basic level, let them know where they stand. We are seeing interesting new trends in how giving relates to the stock market. Traditionally, the ebb and flow of charitable giving was aligned with the GDP. Today, we are seeing giving more closely aligned with trends in the stock market. It is too early to determine if this will stick, but it could be significant and will be interesting to watch and experience over time.
    Read More
  • Honoring Creativity: Volunteering in the Classroom

    Lower School Art Teacher Li-Ting Hung and parent volunteer Mili Welt have a special synergy. They collaborate together on the Lower School art displays, which brighten the walls of the Lower School year-round. The first year they were both at The Bush School, Mili thought, “I want to do work on the displays,” but, she says, “I didn’t want to impose. I wanted to show Li-Ting’s amazing work, and how much the students are learning in art.”
    Read More
  • Ian's Memory Shines Down Like the Sun

    In the words of Bush faculty member Thomas, who met Ian during Ian’s visit to the Bush Seattle campus in the fall of 2017, “What a great guy. I truly enjoyed getting to know Ian. I am in shock and cannot believe the news. So sad. Shine down like the sun, man.” Ian died in an avalanche while skiing on March 4, 2018. To say that his death was devastating underscores the impact he has had on my life and our greater community, both in the Methow Valley and at The Bush School. 
    Read More
  • Supporting Teachers to Greatness

    The Bush School is based in progressive education, which means considering the whole child, learning by doing, and seeking deep understanding. We care about the whole child for their whole lives. In recent years, research in the field has brought us new understanding on why progressive education works. In order to deliver our contemporary version of progressive education, The Bush School commits significant resources to supporting teachers to greatness. 
    Read More

Class of 1968 Fiftieth Reunion

The Bush School’s Class of 1968 gathered at Gracemont to celebrate their Fiftieth Reunion. The group enjoyed a campus tour, dinner, and catching up with each other.

“I’m glad to say that I’m grateful for the happy years I had at Bush and for the many wonderful friends I have, thanks to that experience.”
Deb Gayle ’68

Celebrating the Class of 2018

“I am thankful for my family and for all of the opportunities that were gifted to me. To me, gratitude is something that you are so thankful for you that can’t even put it into words. You just have to try to show the person how grateful you are.”

Alex Sorensen ’18 (Northeastern University ’22)

Fiscal Year Performance

Overview 2017-2018

The Bush School raised a total of $1,570,589 in philanthropic giving during the year ending June 30, 2018. 

Total revenue for the year was $25,054,178 and came from tuition and fees, philanthropic support, auxilary programs, and investment income. 

Total expenses for the year were $23,174,820 and included financial aid, salaries and benefits, programs and materials, maintenance and utilities, and debt service.

The value of Bush's endowment as of June 30, 2018 was $19,931,438.

The total change in net assets was $2,236,616. 

List of 1 news stories.

  • Endowment Growth

    financial reality of the independent school model is that tuition doesn’t cover all of the costs of running the school. Schools try to keep tuition as low as possible while trying to pay competitive salaries and keep class sizes small. Therefore, schools must rely on fundraising to supplement the operating budget. Schools use two main types of fundraising strategies: one is the Annual Fund and the other is raising Endowment.

    Endowments are created by donors who indicate that they want their gift invested but may allow part of the annual investment income to be used for programs or purposes that the donor specifies when they make their gift. Endowments can be restricted to support the donors’ specific area(s) of interest, such as salaries or financial aid. Quasi-endowments, on the other hand, are unrestricted by the donor and are allocated by the school’s governing board.

    Management of Bush’s endowment is under the purview of the Investment Sub-committee, which reports to the Resource Management and Audit Committee and, ultimately, the Board of Trustees.  The school has engaged an investment advisor who makes recommendations regarding investment policy, asset allocation, and investments.

    Endowments are considered a hallmark of financial sustainability.
    Read More

Philanthropic Giving 2017-2018

    • philanthropic

      philanthropic giving2

Revenue 2017-2018

    • revenue


Expenses 2017-2018

    • expenses


Members of The Bush School community received an email with the password to this section.  If you are a member of the Bush community and would like access, please email us at development@bush.edu to request the password

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