Move to independent foundation benefits Trinity parents, students

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 12, 2000

Leaders of the newly restructured Trinity Episcoal Day School’s board of trustees say they are passionate about the school’s future.

&uot;We’re passionate about (the school),&uot; said Howard Jones, president of the Board of Trustees. &uot;And not just because our children are there, but because that place gave us so much.&uot;

Jones is one of six alumni serving on the board of trustees of the 300-student Natchez school. Others are Greg Iles, Russell Butts, Dr. Ed Daly, state Rep. Andrew Ketchings and Katie Freiberger.

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&uot;We’ve finally gotten old enough now,&uot;&160;he joked, referring to the alumni of the school, which started as a nursery school in 1960s and had its first graduating class in the early 1970s.

&uot;We have children in school … we’ve come back, we’re excited and we’re passionate about it,&uot; Jones added.

In June, the school, which is still affiliated with Trinity Episcopal Church, was restructured to be operated under The Lewis O’Vander Thomas Educational Foundation.

The move to an independent operating foundation carries several benefits for parents and students, with perhaps the biggest being the new authority granted the school board.

Previously, the school board was appointed by the vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church, and while the board ran the day-to-day operations of the school, it do so under the auspices of the rector and the vestry.

And that, Jones said, made decision-making a time consuming process. Now, the school board is able to make decisions immediately, Jones said.

&uot;I think the church was very generous to do this,&uot; said Iles. &uot;They’re basically trusting us enough to give us the governance of the school.&uot;

Parents of the school, who are the foundation’s stockholders, elect the members of the board of trustees. Those include five parent representatives: Susan Barnes, Rebecca McGehee, Barbara Kirby, Jack Stephens and Ken Williams.

The Rev. Chip Davis, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, and Ann Siddall, a member of its vestry, are ex-officio members of the board of trustees.

Iles said in addition to undertaking such projects as the creation of an alumni organization, the new board is focused on renewing the whole school.

&uot;We’re revisiting every touchstone of the past,&uot; he said.

And, Jones added, the board continues the goal of making Trinity one of the top college preparatory schools in the state.