Read how our successful auction is improving our school:
“How’d y’all like to take a trip around the world in one night?” The question posed by auction chair, Amanda Hiatt and her crew, and it was too good to pass up. On March 3, 2016, two hundred seventy-one collective voices joined, “We’re in!” And what a trip it was!
The 2016 FCDS Around the World in One Night Auction brought together parents, faculty, educators, administration, alumni, sponsors, friends, and family alike on an epic global adventure experienced to raise funds for our inaugural FCDS Faculty Development Fund.
The CAC was transformed into a global plethora of delight. The energy was high, Fury spirit infectious. During the course of the evening, guests sampled a wide variety of diverse cultural menu items and various beverage offerings thanks to the kind donations of FLIK, Foothills Brewery, and American Premium Beverage. As guests mingled they bid on the wonderful auction items such as class baskets donated by our gracious Fury families, generous gifts from local businesses and sponsors, and a live auction that brought down the house! Where else can one leave a party with an instant wine cellar of over 100 bottles all in the name of faculty support? That was done … and then some.
The FCDS Faculty Development Fund was initiated in 2015. Its mission, “Invest in those investing in our children,” provides professional development opportunities to enhance our teachers’ skills, abilities and expertise, thus creating a more robust learning experience for our children. “At FCDS, we pride ourselves on delivering to our students the best educational experience that can be found in the Triad and surrounding areas. But to maintain our efficacy in delivering those exceptional learning opportunities, we need to regularly develop our teachers. Professional development re-energizes teachers and refreshes their classrooms and teaching pedagogies” explains Upper School Director Steve Manna.
The evening’s proceeds afforded our educators with a total net revenue of nearly $98,000; exceeding our goal by $8,000! “We division directors have been so pleased to know that we can bring staff development to the FCDS community by using the auction funds raised this past spring,” states Dr. Moser, Director of Lower School. “Several sorts of staff development opportunities will be available thanks to these funds; in fact, some have already occurred and others have been planned as well.”
Our Division Directors identified the needs for individual teachers to receive targeted training aimed at individual curriculum. This past summer the fund sent both an AP biology and AP statistics teacher to Advanced Placement Institutes. One of our new grade-level teachers in Lower School required more familiarity with Singapore Math and was able to receive professional, directed training. Additionally, this past summer several Lower School teachers attended joint instruction on implementing math stations in their classrooms.
In October, many math educators attended a Singapore Math conference to receive supplemental training. Late this spring, a portion of the auction proceeds will also be used to send a music teacher to a national conference where the teacher will serve as a presenter and clinician. Paying it forward so all can appreciate the gifts we’ve been given.
Our lower school reading curriculum will also be bolstered by the funding. “Another level of teacher support affects programming on a wider level,” said Dr. Moser. This current school year we’re able to assist our K to 6 teachers as they work together to implement strategies related to guided/leveled reading instruction. Teachers will attend workshops as well as welcome in-class coaches, who are experts on reading instruction, into their classrooms.
Staff development may begin with the individual but it comes to fruition as a school community. Dan Quesnel, Director of Middle school explained, “Staff development expands into school-wide curriculum matters. To that end, we’ve already enjoyed using the FCDS Faculty Fund to support and deliver on our mission of character.” The FCDS Character Education Program
further integrates four comprehensive and valuable character traits into our total school environment: compassion, integrity, respect, and responsibility. “The auction funds brought nationally recognized speakers to campus to discuss topics like character education and work/life balance for the faculty and provided an infectious summer read for our teachers. It is also responsible for sending a group of individuals representing all divisions to the National Character.org Conference in Washington, D.C
. in October,” informs Quesnel. And the gift continues to give. “Throughout this academic year the money raised will provide ongoing resources and guest speakers, so we’re all continually learning while adhering to our mission. This is just one more natural extension of what our educators do every day.”
The auction’s Faculty Development Funds proceeds were also used to send two new Upper School teachers to SAIS New Teacher Institutes prior to the start of the current school year. These multi-day workshops are designed for teachers who are new to teaching or who are new to teaching in an independent school setting, like ours. The institutes prepare our new teachers to be successful as teachers in our school community, which facilitates student success in the classroom as much as a sense of comfort for the new teacher as he or she navigates independent school life for the first time. “The world is moving quickly, and our faculty must adapt to keep up with the learning styles of today’s students. The auction funds afford us these opportunities,” states Manna. “Teachers who may have been reluctant to ask for professional development will now be encumbered to make these important requests.”
It was such a pleasure to sense the enthusiasm, passion, and gratitude expressed by our three Division Directors and in turn, the faculty and staff. Says Manna, “We are enthusiastic about the potential our teachers now have thanks to the generosity of our families, faculty, and staff who supported this initiative.” Manna assured that our school will continue to be mindful of how professional development funds are allocated within and across divisions.
The FCDS parents’ association is so grateful to our school community for supporting the auction and raising funds to support our wonderful teachers. We are truly investing in those who invest in our children!