Submitted by Jeff Martin on
I am one of those people who says “Happy New Year” for far too long in the month of January. The month of February is already here, but for me, there is something about New Year’s resolutions that I find both inspiring and enjoyable. Some people use the new year as an opportunity to make small improvements to their lives, whereas others resolve to make changes that completely alter the trajectory of their lives. Of course, I realize that, for many, these resolutions are short lived.
With February underway, certainly many gym memberships are already canceled, the intention to reconnect with old friends has given way to busy schedules, and saving money for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation is off to a slow start, at best. Sure, finding success in seeing resolutions through to fruition is both admirable and exciting, but for me, the impetus of these resolutions is what draws me in most. With a desire for positive change, improvement, and achievement, we engage in a process of thoughtful reflection and commit ourselves to embracing challenge.
At the core of Talcott Mountain Science Center & Academy is a forward thinking commitment to innovation. Since the late 1960s, we have resolved to be an organization that embraces possibility, creativity, and new ideas. As 2023 gets underway, I am energized by the fact that this sense of resolve remains alive and well. Through processes of reflective thought and collaboration, I am excited to share three “resolutions” that Talcott Mountain has established for itself for the immediate future.
First, we resolve to engage in the process of strategic planning. We will create time and space to ask and answer difficult questions. We will examine the proverbial landscape around us and ensure that our place in that context is strong and secure. Above all, we will set our compass to move forward in a clear and compelling direction, always remaining true to our mission: Inspiring today’s children to invent tomorrow. It is far too early to predict what will emerge from the strategic planning process, but just as with personal resolutions, we may find ourselves needing to embrace new habits, to let go of things we no longer need, and to take bold steps forward. Each member of the Talcott Mountain community can play an important role in this process and help to make this resolution a success.
Our second resolution is to complete a campus master plan. Our mountaintop location is unique, and the views we have from our ridgeline are nothing short of awe-inspiring. We’re not resolving to put shovels in the ground; that resolution will come later. We are resolving, however, to create a plan that makes our campus more inspiring, more inviting, and best equipped to support the future growth of both the Science Center and Academy. I am thrilled to announce that we are partnering with Centerbrook Architects & Planners to guide us through this process. Centerbrook is highly regarded locally, regionally and nationally for their thoughtful approach, innovative design, and commitment sustainability and craftsmanship. We feel strongly that mission alignment between our organizations is sure to yield a plan that is incredibly inspiring. I am excited to share opportunities for the community to participate in the planning process, and, of course, to share more about the plan as it comes together!
Lastly, we resolve to begin the important process of accreditation for Talcott Mountain Academy. To be clear, we are not making this resolution to gain a stamp of approval or to compare ourselves with other independent schools throughout the state. Our resolution is to engage in a process that intentionally gives cause for deep reflection, thoughtful discussion, and commitment to growth and improvement. Having led a school through accreditation before, I can attest to the amount of hard work it requires. I can also attest to how the process of accreditation spurred critical growth and a stronger overall school community. TMA’s journey through accreditation will only serve to further invigorate the inspiration and innovation that define our school.
You may be asking, “Three major resolutions all at once?” The short answer is “yes.” The longer answer is that we understand how each of these resolutions impacts the others, and the time is now to be bold in moving forward. We need and value your support, and we thank you in advance for the myriad ways in which you will help us to find success in these resolutions. Even though it’s already February, Happy New Year!
Jeff Martin, Executive Director