Our new Upper School building on the Upper Campus continues to take shape on the inside and outside. We anticipate a June completion, July move-in, and August grand opening for the 2019-2020 school year. This will be a gamechanger for our students and the School.

Recently, I shared with you the appointment of Anne Katz as Chief Community Development Officer to oversee all areas of MV communication, volunteer support, experiences, and MV Fund giving. Coming out of the Pioneer Tomorrow campaign, the School has collapsed the philanthropy, partnerships, and communication divisions under one key area, Community Development, as well as reduced the staff traditionally dedicated to these areas. This will be a leaner, high performing, purpose-driven approach moving forward. Focusing on our families, the role of the Community Development team is to add overall value to the development and maintenance of a healthy, thriving community through messaging, experiences, and investments.

In addition, the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation (MVIFI) will refine its efforts for the 2019-2020 school year. Moving forward, MVIFI will be the face of a new department, Business Development — a term familiar to the corporate sector.  While Community Development is focused on the internal MV community, Business Development, through MVIFI, will concentrate on external investors, partnerships, and non-tuition revenue sources. MV is expanding its revenue base beyond relying exclusively on tuition and donations to the MV Fund to support Mount Vernon students and teachers, but instead reimagining the financial model called on by our strategic plan, MVx.

As a reminder, in 2012, Mount Vernon launched MVIFI, a transformational design studio helping schools (as well as commercial companies and nonprofit organizations) transform and innovate through people-centered design. Annually, since its inception, MVIFI has welcomed 300 educators from around the world through visitation days and our annual design thinking summit, fuse; has partnered with leading corporations and nonprofits (Porsche, Chick-fil-A, AT&T, Center for Civil and Human Rights, Dell, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta); has served as a consulting firm for public and private schools nationwide; and has been highlighted in various scholarly articles and research-based educational books.

During the past seven years, the School and MVIFI have been building an extensive portfolio in the education sector. Now is the time to build capacity in MVIFI to capitalize on the demand for its services and solutions across the country in order to continue to reinvest in our students and teachers.

I am excited to share with you the appointment of Christy Brice, as our new Chief of Strategic Partnerships and Solutions, heading up the Business Development team at Mount Vernon. In this capacity, Christy and her team will identify and establish a strategy for developing new market opportunities (locally, domestically, and internationally), leverage MV resources for growth, advance our consulting agency, while cultivating new and strengthening existing partnerships. 100% of non-tuition net income (consulting, experiences, grants) will be reinvested in MV students and teachers through programming and professional learning experiences.

Christy, with 25 years of corporate experience, has assisted in transforming a healthcare provider into a profitable, top-performing and leader in its market; built and led a premier project management organization; and designed innovative consulting solutions to support the sales process of a national business development team. Recently, she served as Senior Integration Management Executive at Northside Hospital and Chief Information Officer for Visiting Nurse Health System. Prior experience includes an executive role with Earthlink and solutions consultant with Ernst & Young. Christy received her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and health systems from Georgia Tech and her master’s in business administration from Clemson University. Christy and her husband, Clay, joined the Mount Vernon community this year as the parents to two current MV seventh graders. Please join me in welcoming Christy to Mount Vernon’s staff.

Representing a new chapter in our story of innovation, we look forward to opening the doors of our new building in August, as well as living into the exciting vision for Mount Vernon.

Sincerely,

Dr. Brett Jacobsen
Head of School

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