During the 2018-19 school year, the Inspire Campaign was launched to fund a groundbreaking sphere-based compensation model designed to uplift Graland teachers and their students long-term.
Rather than rewarding teachers simply for their years of experience and educational achievements, the innovative structure rewards teachers for impacting students in the classroom while going further to recognize those who demonstrate the school's values and advance the overall program. It raises Graland faculty salaries to be competitive, both locally and nationally and rewards teachers for being masters of their craft. It honors exceptional teaching and is designed to impact program growth and expand student learning. And, it provides Graland with the means to attract outstanding teachers by showing recruits that the school values educational expertise and encourages a growth mindset. It is forward-thinking and strengthens Graland's ability to retain faculty.
Grade 3 teacher Mary Helen Sheehan was one of the first faculty members to experience the benefits of the new model.
"I'm really grateful and appreciative for the opportunity to attain a higher compensation level as a teacher who is earlier in their career," Ms. Sheehan said. "It's important for raising up the teaching profession. We have lots of work to do as a society to make sure that teachers are respected as professionals, and I'm hopeful this is a step in the right direction."
For Ms. Sheehan, the process also led to a leadership role in updating the Lower School writing curriculum. "I had the opportunity to participate in a writing institute in New York that generated new ideas and encouraged me to look at writing education from new angles. I am collaborating with other teachers to create a stronger program, and I've put a lot of extra effort into it. The sphere process provided me with an opportunity to showcase our work. It feels good to be recognized and rewarded for going the distance," Ms. Sheehan said.
Due to the generosity and support of our donors towards this campaign, the Faculty Compensation Endowment will make the success that Ms. Sheehan and other faculty members have experienced longstanding.
"Change takes time, and endowments can provide a long-term source of funding for key initiatives for our community. We need to be thinking 10-20 years out, and a strong endowment provides us with the ability to think big and be bold," alumnus and parent Ben Lusher '99 said.
So while the Inspire Campaign has ended, the opportunity to support Graland teachers lives on. Members of the Graland community and beyond are invited to consider contributing to the Faculty Compensation Endowment so that Graland's exceptional faculty can continue to earn a living, do what they love, grow as professionals and leaders, and inspire students for years to come.
To learn more about the Inspire Campaign, click here. To inquire about making a gift to the Faculty Compensation Endowment, contact Director of Development, Jessica Goski, at email@example.com or 303-336-3705.