Financial Planning at Mark Day School

This month's In Step With the Board contains a reminder to attend one of our upcoming town halls, provides an overview of our key financial processes and most importantly says thank you to a person we can't possibly thank enough.  

Budget & Philanthropy Town Halls – February 9th and 10th

Again this year, we are utilizing  formal and informal opportunities to educate all members of our community on the thought and rigor that goes into our long-range financial planning and annual budgeting processes.  Head of School Joe Harvey and Treasurer JT Herman will host this year's Budget and Philanthropy Town Hall sessions on February 9th at 7:00pm in the Media Center and on February 10th at 9:00am in the Media Center.  If you've ever had questions about how we build the budget or how our financial profile (indexed tuition, costs, endowment) compares to other schools in California, we hope you'll make every effort to attend one of these sessions.  Please feel free to come with your tough questions around tuition increases, budget priorities and long range financial sustainability and we'll do our best to share the board's process in setting budget, compensation, and tuition.  

Our Role

The role of the Finance and Development Committee is to vet and monitor all financial and development matters in advance of board discussions and decisions.  Focused on our school's mission, our committee seeks to limit tuition increases and encourage philanthropy while continuing to ensure that our children experience a vibrant, enhanced program from a fairly compensated faculty and staff in a socioeconomically diverse community.

Operating Budget

Each year, we go through a deliberate and careful budgeting process and consider several scenarios prepared by the administration. Each budget line item is carefully reviewed and discussed. In this most recent year, we balanced initiatives for program, project debt service, and long-term provision of indexed tuition while again holding ourselves to one of the lowest levels of tuition increase in the past 15 years. Our administrative team consistently demonstrates creativity and discipline to deliver the excellent program to students in the most economically efficient way possible.

Investment Oversight

The investment subcommittee continues to be expertly led by Vice President Robert Hee and Carl Reichardt.  We monitor and evaluate investment performance and consider investment management options for endowment and other interest bearing accounts. We rely on highly experienced, world-class professional managers to make our day-to-day allocation decisions and help us achieve our long-term performance goals. The investment committee tracks performance and cost metrics to ensure we are best positioned to achieve our expected outcomes. The entire board is briefed by representatives from our professional manager on an annual basis.

A Heartfelt THANK YOU!
As Joe announced earlier this school year, Rhona Lovett has informed us of her decision to retire at the end of this school year.  Please join the Finance and Development Committee and the Board of Trustees in recognizing the tireless and excellent work Rhona has provided to Mark Day School for the past 15 years.  While it will be impossible to replace the unique mix of knowledge, class, humility and mission focus Rhona brings to us each and every day, Joe, the administration, and the board are focused to ensure a smooth transition of all financial functions.  Rhona's contributions and accomplishments number too many to list but we know we speak for the entire Mark Day community past and present in offering a most heartfelt "THANK YOU, Rhona!"  We look forward to opportunities to celebrate your retirement and share our gratitude throughout the spring term.


In Closing
Please stay tuned for future editions of In Step With The Board. Our goal every year is to be transparent about our work in service of our wonderful school. Here is a calendar of upcoming issues of In Step With The Board.

Late February: Development and Capital Campaign

March: Governance - Diversity and Inclusivity Subcommittee

April: Site Committee

May: Governance - Introduction of New Trustees and Farewell to Departing Trustees

June: End of Year Board Reflections

If you have any questions or comments about the Finance and Development Committee, please contact JT Herman, Terry Powers, or Dan Kalafatas. We would love to hear your feedback.

All the best,

Members of the Development and Finance Committee:

Trent Boorman '03

Deborah Pannell

Steve Polsky

Carl Reichardt

Andrea Salmi

Eileen Sheldon

Nicole Stanton

Stephanie Parker, PA President

Shalu Saluja, Board Chair

Robert Hee, Vice Chair

Dan Kalafatas, Assistant Treasurer

Terry Powers, Co-Chair Development and Finance Committee

JT Herman, Co-Chair Development and Finance Committee, Treasurer

Wendy Levine, Director of Development

Rhona Lovett, Director of Finance and Operations

Joe Harvey, Head of School

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