Pursue Your Passions

Welcome from the Parents’ Association

Marita Daly To the Branson Parent Community,

What a year it’s been!  It is hard to believe that the atmosphere at Branson could change so much in such a short time. I’d like to thank the Board of Trustees, which has worked tirelessly to keep a strategic focus on Branson’s future while simultaneously steering Branson through a significant crisis and searching for a new Head of School.  It’s taken an enormous commitment of time and energy, and they’ve done a remarkable job. 

I’d also like to thank our talented faculty, administration and staff for keeping the focus on educating our students amid some disruptive times.  And for responding to the vision of our Head of School by implementing many changes at Branson that have substantially improved the student and parent experience.  It’s exciting to see the faculty delivering impressive results with grace and expertise when asked to set their goals even higher.  We have exciting improvements to the curriculum, an impressive new Wellness Program, a more substantive advisory program and admirable admissions results for the year. The school is much improved as a result.

In my view, our Interim Head of School, Ellen Moceri, changed the culture at Branson beginning with her first letter to the community last summer.  She set the tone for a school that would be more transparent and responsive to student and parent concerns.  I can’t imagine a leader more eager to respond to her constituents.  Ellen formed a partnership with the PA--based on mutual respect and enhanced communication--that did not previously exist.   I’m really grateful for her transparency, responsiveness, and commitment to improving Branson at every turn.  I’ve had fun working with Ellen and respect her intelligence, wisdom, curiosity and solution-oriented approach to governance.

Ellen arrived on campus and immediately set to work getting to know the history of Branson, the extent of our programs and the opportunities for improvement. Remarkably, Ellen was able to focus on both Branson’s day-to-day issues as well as strategic initiatives—spearheading our Second Century presentations, advocating for the move to Strawberry, and improving our relationship with the Town of Ross. Her list of accomplishments is extensive, and would fill several pages.  I’d like to highlight some of the programs that made the most impact on our students and families:

  • An expanded curriculum in technology, history and art
  • A robust Wellness Program
  • An expanded Advisory Program, with all administrators now acting as student advisors
  • Parent-Teacher conferences
  • A new artificial turf field on campus
  • A makers lab
  • Appointing Nathalio Gray as Admission Director
  • Expanding the Admission Committee to include Assistant Head of School Karen Whitaker and Director of Athletics Anthony Thomas
  • Monthly grade-level administrative meetings to provide enhanced student support
  • Grade-level parent networking meetings
  • Personnel evaluations for all faculty, staff and administrators
  • Improved governance practices on the board of trustees
  • Inclusive pre-prom parties for juniors and seniors
  • Reduced expenses and minimized tuition increase, working closely with the Board

Branson is a unique collection of ambitious students and dedicated faculty in a stunning campus setting. Ellen brought enormous energy and wisdom to the task of improving our beloved school.  What Ellen has accomplished is remarkable and is the first step in what is undoubtedly a most exciting time for the entire Branson community.  She has set the stage for us to truly soar.

Marita Daly
Parents’ Association President

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