By Josh Fernandes
Webster’s Dictionary defines a mission statement as, “Something that states the purpose or goal of a business or organization”. In the summer of 2019, Oak Hall School’s administration took on the challenging undertaking of changing its mission statement. Assistant Head of School David Jackson explained that changing a mission statement is “a big thing for any institution to do”. Changing the mission statement, in fact, was a tremendous moment in Oak Hall’s history. As Jeff Malloy, Director of Auxiliary and Operations, put it, “If you don’t change, you fail, so it was important for us to look at this statement and be sure we had a true identity of Oak Hall School.” A lot of time, thought, and effort went into such an ambitious challenge.
This process involved several committees led by various groups of the community. The prospect of changing the mission statement was first brought to the administration’s attention at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. The Mission Statement Revision Committee meetings first started with around 12 faculty groups and was headed by Malloy. The committee met in the spring of 2018 and started interviewing various groups of students, ranging from the Lower School to the Upper School. The committee then observed trends in certain words and phrases that were used to describe Oak Hall. “I am so proud that the committee did a deep dive truly discussing the meaning and impact of each word we felt had value to be included in the mission statement,” Malloy said. The process of changing the mission statement was meticulous, as committee members valued the meaning of each individual word.
“A welcoming, diverse, and supportive learning community empowering students to pursue their academic, artistic, and athletic passions.”Oak Hall’s Mission Statement
Malloy and Jackson both believe that the new mission statement encompasses Oak Hall ‘s values better than the previous one. They both emphasized how it was very important to include not just academics, but athletics, the arts, and every other aspect that is involved with the school in the new mission statement. “I think we have a statement which represents our school well and will do so for the foreseeable future,” Malloy stated. This change was not just the changing of a mission statement, but the beginning of a new chapter for Oak Hall School.