We believe all the aspirations in this plan will find their fullest expression if we think of them as elements of a powerful unifying idea: St. Albans as “a sacred space for all,” a sanctuary where certain values and commitments are kept alive, where our boys experience the transforming grace at the heart of a St. Albans education. Our capacity to see our mission in sacred terms both grounds us and propels us, affirms us and transforms us. At St. Albans, tradition and transformation are not opposing forces but are two parts of the same process.
The first impression of our school is often one of tradition and formality, whether it is the Gothic architecture of our campus, our classical liberal arts curriculum, or our traditional dress code. Alongside these features, however, are qualities one often does not associate with traditional institutions: warmth, joyfulness, humility, and a commitment to continual self-examination. It is this beautiful duality that defines the soul of our school. Our traditions matter profoundly to us, but they are vibrant, living realities, based on an aspirational rather than a fossilized view of our mission. At St. Albans, we resist complacency and insularity. We resist narrow, one-dimensional ways of thinking about boys, boys’ institutions, and the world around us. We are a questioning community that helps boys transcend the constraints of social constructs and stereotypes to become their best selves. We are a “both/and” institution that embraces creative tensions, rather than an “either/or” institution trapped in false dichotomies:
- We are both a school of excellence that demands a great deal of our students and a warm, joyful community of deep connection, support, and belonging. A school where both learning and laughter, reverence and irreverence, and excellence and empathy pervade our hallways, where boys find teachers who both challenge them and love them, making them feel they are part of something truly special.
- We are both an Episcopal school with weekly chapel services and blessings before each meal and a community that encourages each boy to reflect on his own beliefs and engage more deeply in his faith tradition. We are an intentionally diverse community that believes in the intrinsic worth and dignity of all humans as sacred beings, and our identity as a spiritual institution makes diversity, equity, and inclusion foundational to our mission.
- We are both a boys’ school that serves the distinctive development needs of boys and a school that encourages boys to think critically about masculinity and the moral responsibilities of men in today’s world. We provide both the benefits of an all-boys education and a robust co-educational program with one of the nation’s finest girls’ schools.
- We are both a school that promotes academic excellence through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum and a school that introduces each boy to a broad range of activities — on stage, in the gym, abroad, or in the lab — allowing boys to find and develop their own interests and passions.
- We are both proud of our traditions, believing they give our boys a sense of place and purpose in an increasingly unsettled world, and we are a thinking, questioning community, always engaged in self-examination, always seeking new opportunities for growth and excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts. The motto of St. Albans — Pro Ecclesia et Pro Patria — reminds us each day that we are called to be an outwardfacing institution devoted to ideals larger than ourselves. And as a school located beside Washington National Cathedral overlooking the nation’s capital, we encourage our boys to look upward and outwards, drawing them into lives of thoughtful engagement with the highest spiritual and civic ideals.
It is often said that the Episcopal tradition approaches the complexities of life and the human encounter with the sacred by seeking a “via media” or a “middle way.” In an age where technological and scientific progress coexist with so much polarization, confusion, and loss of faith in the capacity of our institutions to address our deepest challenges, we hope that St. Albans, by providing a “sacred space” and a “middle way” can offer our students and families a restored sense of hope in the redemptive capacities of education. It is a gift to be at a school where we have the freedom to give voice to the fullest range of our humanity, to our deepest spiritual and moral yearnings, to the sense that there is something sacred always present in our work. Our Strategic Plan was written in this spirit.
We would like to offer a heartfelt thanks to the many people who worked tirelessly to create this Strategic Plan. In particular, we offer our profound gratitude to the Governing Board’s Strategic Planning Committee Tri-Chairs, Gina Coburn (Parent ’21, ’23); Brendan Sullivan ’93; and Andrew Marino (Parent ’23, ’25, ’28 and ’28), whose integrity and thoughtfulness allowed this plan to move forward so successfully, as well as to former Governing Board Chair Robert Musslewhite (Parent ’20), whose leadership began this process, and Tyler Casertano, then Assistant Head of School for Advancement and Strategy, for being such an important part of this undertaking. We thank all the faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, and past parents whose input played an instrumental role in the formulation of this plan. This exciting vision for our future is the result of hundreds of conversations over the past two years. We are grateful for the community’s support and continued faith in the promise and possibilities of our school.
|David S. Marriott ’92|
Governing Board Chair
| ||Jason Robinson|