Guest Opinion: Kate Wormington — Response to Stay or Go

I believe in all the years I’ve been blogging (even before that’s what it was called :)) I’ve never posted a guest opinion. But there’s always a first time, and that time is now.

Please welcome Kate Wormington, president of the San Carlos Educational Foundation. Kate’s guest posting was sparked by my recent entry on the CLC/San Carlos Educational Foundation discussions entitled “Stay or Go?” It probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that her opinions are her own, not mine. I am publishing her post because I believe it enhances understanding of this complex issue, and as a courtesy to Kate since she doesn’t have an online presence where she could post it herself.

Thank you for a great write-up on this subject.  I’d like to clarify an important point: the focus of my initial meeting with Chris was looking forward to see how the Foundation and CLC could work better together. As the new president of the foundation, I met with him to learn more about CLC’s philosophy and programs — they are a very unique school — and to learn more about the financial issues they faced.  (The district’s CBO mentioned in an earlier meeting that they were under significant financial pressures, which made me both concerned and curious.)

We had a great meeting.  Chris was extremely professional, cordial, insightful and, frankly, I had a wonderful time talking with him.  My questions to Chris were exactly the same questions I posed to Craig Baker — the superintendent of the 6 other schools in the district.  This was the major question: “We’re planning on raising $2M this year.  Will that amount cover your need?”

While Craig was supportive of a $2M target, the financial pressures on CLC made Chris more wary.  In fact, he’s worried about CLC’s future financial viability given SCEF’s projected targets.  So, our conversation naturally turned to next steps for CLC.  One of the potential next steps the CLC Governance Council considered — and there were many options — was to pursue independent fundraising.  Before taking the leap, their GC wanted to get input from the school board trustees.

I’m proud of the conversations I had with Chris and with Craig.  I would have those conversations again in a heartbeat.  The questions I posed to both were the same.  They are the questions any responsible foundation president would (and should) ask.

Perhaps more importantly, the ensuing conversations caused SCEF and CLC to closely examine why we work together: what’s working, what’s not and whether the relationship is worth maintaining.  Any good relationship needs this scrutiny from time to time.  And, I’m happy to say that CLC decided to stick with the foundation.  They are, in their words, “All In!”   This is music to my ears.

Our partnership is re-energized and much more positive — all good things for our community.   We’re going to have a wonderful year together.

Kate Wormington
SCEF President

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