A Case in Point: The Newman School

When I began my mentoring business I expected to be hearing from young heads with three or less years experience. But one of my favorite jobs has been with the Newman

School, situated in Boston’s Back Bay.



Newman’s leader, J. Harry Lynch, is currently in his thirty-third year as headmaster  After receiving my materials and checking out my website, Harry called me in August and asked if we could talk.


I visited him on Marlborough Street in the Back Bay and our talk focused on helping him build a strong and strategic administrative leadership team. His key administrators had never really worked as a supporting group to help Harry implement the school’s 2015 Strategic Plan, for example.


We put the group of seven together in late August have been meeting

twice a month. They have learned how to set strategic agendas, stress setting action

plans with assigned responsibilities and include methods of assuring accountability. We

now have set an annual meeting calendar that assures every goal of the current

Strategic Plan will be covered at least twice before June. The Newman Administrative

Leadership Team has come a long way in six months.


If I can help an experienced head, like Harry Lynch, I am sure that I can offer you some

support in improving your school and making your job more successful.


And Harry Lynch agrees:

Our school has an ambitious Five Year plan and our Board is very goal-oriented. Last summer as I thought about the year about to begin, I came across materials from Dexter Morse of VISM, Vital Independent School Mentoring, including his very pointed thoughts on organizing independent school administrations around the priorities established by their schools’ Strategic Plans. Having just read a book entitled Collecting Dust, 8 Reasons Nonprofit Strategic Plans Fail (Curtis), I decided to give Headmaster Morse a call.
I am happy to report that Dexter has delivered on his promise. His approach is supportive and insightful. He is careful to protect the role of the Head of School while offering useful and pragmatic advice when appropriate and when sought. He plays his part, which is to help the Head and team to function efficiently and purposefully toward the betterment of the school, but leaves it to the Head and the Administrative Team to look honestly at their own work on a regular basis and challenge themselves to grow.
Read “Collecting Dust” if you want, it is an insightful book. But you might want to have Dexter Morse’s phone number at hand as you read.

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