MCRC@ADVIS DEI Conference: 10/11/19
From Dreams to Beams: Turning Priorities into Projects
Intermediate: Assumes some familiarity with or exposure to core content
Building Capacity: Skills, Competencies, & Processes for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Round 1 only
Casey Smith, Principal, Hord Coplan Macht
Elizabeth Speers, Head of School, Tower Hill School
Tower Hill embarked on an ambitious, community-wide initiative in 2016 to fully embrace and engage in a thorough and bold strategic planning process. Three major areas of focus emerged along with initiatives to support: Exhilarating Education, Building Community, and Investing in Faculty. In 2017 Tower Hill began partnering with Hord Coplan Macht to support these strategic initiatives with strategic facility improvements, including: building an experiential outdoor classroom to support student exploration and development, expanding the dining commons which enables the strongest academic program unencumbered by the current space limitations, and developing an entrepreneurship program and creating spaces for collaborative learning. These strategic improvements help develop a culture that supports and sustains a diverse community and allow Tower Hill students to engage with a broad external community to provide meaningful academic and service learning opportunities.
The session will share programs Tower Hill has developed to support a diverse community, as well as physical project completed and/or in design - spaces that tell students they matter and allow them to fulfill their greatest potential.
Identify components of a well-rounded curriculum that helps students thrive.
Examine design and delivery strategies that create spaces which support these programs.
Review the operational methodology that allow these programs to succeed.
is principal and architect in Hord Coplan Macht's education studio. His experience includes a number of complex K-12 and higher education projects; including campus masterplans, renovations, additions and new construction. Casey is involved in all phases of a project and helps his clients develop consensus by providing decision support. His experience incudes numerous presentations to independent school associations, including NBOA, NAIS, NCGS, and IBSC.
Elizabeth “Bessie” Cromwell Speers
joined Tower Hill as Head of School in July 2015, bringing nearly 25 years of experience in independent school education. She previously served as head of school at The Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, Connecticut. Speers formerly served as assistant head of school, dean of faculty, English teacher and coach at Episcopal Academy near Philadelphia. Her prior positions include director of placement and strategic planning at Calvert School in Baltimore; director of admission and financial aid, teacher and coach at The Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore; and associate director of admission, coach and adviser at The Loomis Chaffee School in Connecticut. She began her career working with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). A graduate of The Bryn Mawr School, Speers holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middlebury College and a Master of Liberal Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University. She received a Klingenstein Fellowship at Columbia University’s Teachers College in 2014 and has been active with various professional organizations including the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), The Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education (CSEE), The National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS) and The Heads Network, of which she currently is serving as President. She serves on the board of Middlebury College and the Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools (ADVIS). Speers is the tenth Head of School, and first woman to hold the position, in Tower Hill’s 95-year history.
Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools | 701 W. Montgomery Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 | 610-527-0130
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