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Board FAQs

What is the structure of the Board?

The Board is a volunteer group composed of twelve to seventeen voting members who represent current or past parents and community leaders. There is no predetermined number of seats for parents or non-parents. Traditionally, Trustees have been asked to serve for two three-year terms, with occasional special extensions to ensure continuity of a project or a strategic initiative. Board members receive no compensation for their service and are called upon to make extensive time commitments.

What is the primary role of the Board?

The Board of Trustees are given the ”trust” to establish the essential nature of the school, raise and manage the necessary funds to achieve our mission, think and plan strategically and long-term, and hire and support the Head of School. The Head of School is the only employee of the Board. All other employees are hired by, and ultimately report to, the Head of School. Accordingly, Board members are not involved with the normal daily operations of the school. In the most general sense, the Board has the ultimate responsibility for the strategic direction, financial stability/planning, and legal accountability of the school. The Board is responsible for the annual fiscal budget, as well as long range planning, fundraising, and property needs/ownership.

What are the Committees overseen by the Board?

The Board annually establishes committees to provide focus to key strategic areas and may, from time to time, solicit the expertise from members of the community to achieve their strategic goals.* Many Board members chair committees, and all Trustees are members of at least two committees. The Chair of the Board appoints committee chairs and the committee chairs appoint their members. Also, ad hoc committees may be formed at any time based on the current Board initiatives.

  • Executive*: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Chair of Committee on Trustees. The Executive Committee serves as the decision-making group empowered to act on behalf of the Board between Board meetings.
  • Trustees*: Nominates potential Trustees, officers of the Board, and oversees Board education and policy.
  • Head Support and Evaluation*: Works with the Head of School to set goals and evaluate performance and progress.
  • Finance*: Oversees the financial affairs of the school, including the development of the annual budget, tuition recommendations, investment strategy, and long-range planning.
  • Marketing: Responsible for the marketing/advertising/communication strategy with the goal of attracting and retaining the Catherine Cook community.
  • Diversity: Helps develop strategies and resources to support the ongoing diversity work of faculty and staff throughout the community.
  • Building & Grounds: Assesses facilities needs and long-range plans.
  • Computer Science: Support the technology and computer science curriculum at Catherine Cook.
  • Succession Planning & Strategic Initiatives*: Plans for leadership succession and hiring of key positions.
  • Ad hoc: Each year, committees/teams are formed based on the needs of the Board work being conducted. For the 2018-2019 school year, it’s anticipated that we will assemble search teams for key leadership hiring and endowment planning.
  • Annual Giving Cabinet: Each year, the Cabinet engages members to work with the community on the Annual Giving Campaign.

* Due to the nature of the work, certain committees are made up solely of Trustees; all other committees include Trustees, Faculty, Administrators, Parent, and Community members.

How are Board & Committee members selected?

The Trustee Committee is charged with identifying potential members of the Board who are elected by a majority vote of the entire Board. Nominations and expressions of interest can be made throughout the year so as to build a qualified and diverse pool of prospective Board candidates. Typically, we hope to involve these candidates, prior to service on the Board, via ad hoc or Board Committees. We also look to balance the areas of expertise and skill sets based on Board composition and current/projected initiatives. We seek a diverse Board of both parents and non-parents. Most importantly, each member of our Board shows a commitment to build on the academic excellence and sense of community for which Catherine Cook is known.

To nominate yourself or someone else for a committee or as a Trustee, please click here.