A mission statement with moxie
“We believe education is a rich, subtle exploration and questioning of the world, not a means to an end. Since 1965 Saint Ann’s School has brought together gifted children and passionate teachers in a fierce pursuit of knowledge, skill, and artistry. We cultivate a joy for learning through a deep and rigorous curriculum, in which the arts are an essential presence. So that every child will flourish, we eschew grades, rankings, and prizes in favor of ongoing dialogue and teacher reports. At Saint Ann’s we offer our dreams to those who will share theirs with us.”
This independent school’s mission statement does a few things you don’t often see:
- It starts with a statement of beliefs to provide context for the mission. If you don’t share Saint Ann’s School’s values and beliefs, they want you to know it up front. This isn’t a school for everyone; it’s for those who believe that education is an exploration.
- It’s not afraid to be passionate and distinguishing. “Fierce” and “eschew” are words you’d don’t read in every mission statement; they set a tone and take a stand. Focusing on the arts and process as an approach to curriculum also helps the reader understand how the experiences at this school might be different.
- It ends with an aspirational call to action. I was surprised to see the idea of ‘dreaming’ in a school’s mission statement, but in the context of this mission, it makes sense because it circles back to the beliefs and values that are the undercurrent of this mission. It also serves as a springboard from this mission statement into the future.
Got a mission statement you’re inspired by or proud of? I’d love to read it. Please email it to me: Sarah (at) BigDuckNYC (dot) com.