“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” Henry David Thoreau
Since my arrival at Walker five years ago, I feel like I’ve done nothing but plan: for the retirement of our Headmaster of 26 years, for the search for a new Head of School, plan for the arrival of Jack Hall, for re-accreditation, for the future of the school through the recently completed strategic planning process, and, of course, budget…after budget…after budget. However, the most exciting planning that I’ve been a part of is occurring NOW!
Over the summer, the school engaged Michael Mascheri, an architect at Chapman, Coyle & Chapman, to lead us through a master planning process. Chapman, Coyle & Chapman is a Marietta-based architectural firm, and Mike is a well-known and well-respected architect who works primarily in the independent school market. The end-product of Walker’s master planning process will be layout for the campus expansion project to accommodate the Middle School/Upper School academic space, fine arts facility and athletic space outlined in the board-approved strategic plan.
For me, the fun lies in working with faculty, staff and administrators as we think about the school we want to be, the way we want to teach and the building design and campus layout that will best accommodate those dreams while maintaining a safe and sustainable campus. Feedback from teachers in the classroom and administrators with a vision for the future will be directly incorporated into the master plan. Participants have been encouraged to dream, to think outside of the box, and to forget how we do things and think about how we want to do things! By the end of August, over thirty faculty and staff members representing academics, fine arts, athletics, technology, security, sustainability, administration and facilities will have met, and no one is looking back. We are all dreaming about the future of The Walker School.