At a pep rally Friday, Whitby School kicked off the public phase of a $7 million capital campaign, Reimagining Ready: The Campaign for Whitby.
School officials also announced that $5.5 million has already been raised toward that goal in just 10 months. The campaign will complete the funding of its new four-classroom addition and the renovation and expansion of its Gymnasium into an Athletics Center at the school that was founded 55 years ago.
“Team Captain”, Campaign Co-chair and Trustee Susan Geraci opened the rally to announce the Reimagining Ready name. “Whitby prepares students to be Ready, for now and the future,” she began. “Some say schools have to prepare students for jobs we can’t even imagine yet! So we must always be reimagining what Ready means, now and generations beyond. Our campaign, Reimagining Ready, is all about helping to provide the facilities that enable Whitby to dream big, to think out of the box, and to take its outstanding educational programs into the future.”
Head of School Bryan Nixon burst through a Reimagining Ready hoop on his way to the stage, and talked about the projects the Campaign will fund. “Whitby has embarked on a multi-phase campus improvement plan,” he remarked. “We have finished the first part: a four-classroom expansion, including a state-of-the-art Science Laboratory and an innovative Design Technology Lab,” which features interactive displays and 3-D printers to allow students to fully explore the concept of “design thinking”, graphic and architectural design, problem solving, robotics, and communication. Two additional classrooms will house Upper School Spanish and a fourth Middle Elementary classroom.
Nixon also revealed the next stage of construction the expansion and renovation of the gymnasium as a new Athletics Center. The new center will have two full-size basketball courts, a dance/gymnastics studio, a fitness center, and a climbing wall across the full width of the gym. “As the physical education, co-curricular, and athletics programs have grown, the new center provides a facility to continue our growth and compare favorably with peer schools,” Nixon said.
Trustees and Campaign Co-chairs Debbie Linnett, and Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg thanked the donors who have already donated $5.5 million. Linnett said all of Whitby’s trustees have contributed, as well as more than 90 percent of Whitby’s faculty and staff.
zu Guttenberg then led the call to action, asking parents to “think about the seven” and contribute. “This school is unique, second to none in the Greenwich area,” he said. “This school doesn’t only study the world, this school is the world. To see 40 nations and 15 languages combined in this school! They are preparing our children for a world which is massively changing at the moment, and I’d rather have our children be prepared for that changing world, and to be children that are willing to change the world as well.”
Students and parents attending Whitby’s Fathers Day celebration marched into the gymnasium behind The Tappan Zee Bridgemen Marching Band. A “tailgate” lunch with the Super Duper Weenie trucks followed the event.
Whitby School is the only school in the country accredited by the American Montessori Society (and was its founding school) and the International Baccalaureate and the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools.