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Letter from our President

Monday, January 18, 2021


Dear Facility Leaders – a late Happy New Year to all!

As many of you have shared, there was considerable unrest and uncertainty in 2020. We have learned that disruption is sometimes our greatest teacher, while implementing safeguards to guard our students, faculty and staff.

Indeed, many of us ushered in the school year with students on campus, while others have relied on virtual distance learning. Either way, robust preparations were required —  and no road map could have prepared us. All of us adopted CDC guidelines, coordinated with state and county personnel, and delivered insight-led discussions with our own leadership. We also uncovered from each other best practices that we could adopt on our own campuses.

Collectively, we implemented remedies that were quite similar and, yet, there are still varying opinions on a host of solutions. Again, either way, we have uncovered initiatives that provided considerable relief. The pandemic inspired healthy building initiatives and others infectious disease protocol. In light of the pandemic, we have explored ways to harness opportunities for growth and new thinking as teaching and learning evolve, particularly now that the stigma of on-line learning has been removed. 

There is still much to share and learn from each other. It is the foundation of what the alliance is intended to do.  With that, please help me welcome several new directors of facilities whose insights may prove helpful to all of our efforts:

Glen Sines, Bishop Ireton High School, Alexandria, VA

John Casey, Flint Hill, Annapolis, MD

Mark Cappello, Flint Hill School, Oakton, VA

Diana Ortiz Burns, Landon School, Bethesda, MD

Rick Ruddle, Highland School, Warrenton, VA

It is our goal to continue sharing insights from neighboring campuses in a virtual format. Our first task is to request your help in completing the questionnaire that was forwarded via email. If you have the time, please respond accordingly. It will provide a launching pad for our virtual discussion next month. This will be followed in March with our monthly thirty-minute virtual meeting.

The format would be oriented around one FMs journey through the pandemic and best practices. An invitation will be forwarded via email, and we will honor the thirty-minute time frame.

As always, if there is anything that you wish to share and include during future virtual meetings, we welcome your insights. In the meantime, all the best!


Michael Joyce

Director of Facilities, Holton-Arms School



Independent School Alliance