October 11, 2022
How do you create an excellent educational experience for students and families? It doesn’t just happen. Aspen Country Day School has been bold and intentional in planning for the future, and that mindset continues this year.
A new strategic planning process is underway to identify priorities for the years ahead. Every member of the school community is invited to participate. Share your insights at one of the upcoming listening sessions. RSVP appreciated here!
A little background:
Seven years ago, Aspen Country Day School published a strategic plan called 2020 InSIGHT. It established goals for learning, culture, school size, leadership, and finances. It also set down some of our school’s landmark beliefs: the core values of character, respect, responsibility, community, and perserverance, along with the attributes we’re seeking in students, teachers, and graduates. That plan has proven remarkably prescient as the school has navigated a period of growth, not to mention the challenges of the pandemic.
The 2022-23 school year brings a certain new energy. As we emerge from several unusual years, it’s time to turn our attention to the future of Aspen Country Day School, prepare for the upcoming reaccreditation by the Association of Colorado Independent Schools, and establish priorities for a capital campaign to begin in spring. A new strategic planning process launching this month will attend carefully to the voices of our community: trustees; teachers and staff; parents; students; and alumni.
A Strategic Planning Steering Committee has been formed with an eye toward balancing the many different perspectives in our community. But the steering committee is just that — a group to steer the work. This process is one for the whole community, and we’ll begin with a series of listening sessions this fall. Parents, alumni, and friends will also receive a link to share your thoughts in a survey.
Your reflections on the school and its future are of great value to Aspen Country Day School. The steering committee will use your insights, combined with data and best practices in independent education, to build a plan that is both aspirational and practical. The Board of Trustees will review the plan at its February meeting, and in the spring, we will host opportunities to learn how it will be implemented in coming years.
Strategic Planning Committee for 2022-23
Clare Evert-Shane, co-chair
chair of the Board of Trustees, parent of graduate (‘14), current parent (Seventh)
Clare Evert-Shane moved to Aspen in the summer of 1988. Originally from Florida, Clare grew up playing competitive tennis, winning national titles, and becoming an All-American at SMU. Upon graduation from college, Clare began at the Aspen Club, and eventually became director of tennis and, ultimately, assistant general manager. After meeting her husband, Steven Shane, Clare shifted to event coordinating for both for- and non-profit organizations in the sporting world. Clare and Steven have two daughters, a graduate and a current student at Aspen Country Day School, where Clare is the chair of the board of trustees. She is also actively engaged with Theatre Aspen, where she serves as vice chair.
Josh Wolman, co-chair
Head of School
For more about our Head of School, click here
current parent (Third, Sixth, Eighth)
Abby’s experience with schools includes being a trustee at Marin Country Day School and The Little School. Her professional experience includes founding a technology-focused executive search firm and developing business strategies, organizational structures and teams as a senior executive, venture capitalist and management consultant. Abby has a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
First Grade teacher
Rachael graduated from Penn State with a BS in Elementary and Early Education and has completed the comprehensive Orton-Gillingham course through the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education, as well as graduate coursework in literacy through the University of Colorado Denver. She is currently pursuing studies in speech pathology.
Gretchen Cole ’84
alumna, parent of graduates (’11, ’14, ’20), former director of admission
Gretchen is an alumna, parent of three graduates, and former admission director of Aspen Country Day School, where she also founded the annual boarding school fair. Previously, she was a boarding school placement consultant, an associate director of philanthropy for the Colorado chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and director of mountaineering operations for Mountain Travel*Sobek, a California-based global adventure travel company. She serves on the boards of Aspen Words and Summit 54, and is a trustee of The Austin Memorial Foundation, along with advocacy work for many local nonprofits. Gretchen graduated from Milton Academy and holds a BA in psychology from UC Berkeley.
Michael Davies ’89
alumnus, parent of graduate (’22), current parent (Sixth)
current parent (PreK & First)
Angie is the chief of human resources for the Roaring Fork School District, leading HR for the district’s 1,000 staff. She has been working in education for nearly 20 years, including a decade of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. Prior to joining the school district, Angie worked as the strategy and talent manager for a Denver-based consulting firm and as the development director for a valley nonprofit. Angie’s academic background includes an MA and Ph.D. in communication from the University of Colorado and a BA in rhetoric and communication from the University of Richmond. For fun: mountain adventures (chasing the kids down the ski slopes, hiking, camping, and river trips), aspiring to be a chef, live music, and great novels. Angie also coordinates Aspen Country Day School’s dining hall volunteer program, matching parents with the opportunity to help serve lunch daily.
director of admissions & fInancial Aid, current parent (Kindergarten & Third)
Susan guides families on their first steps in the Country Day journey and has a particular talent for welcoming new parents and children to the community. A parent of two children, she has worked in many areas of the school and joined the admissions team in 2014. Prior to joining Aspen Country Day School in 2009, she worked in the sales development and marketing departments at TIME and The New York Times in New York City. Susan earned her BA with a major in English at Hamilton College.
Nicole Hernandez ’00
alumna, trustee, PIE Parent Association chair, current parent (PreK, Second)
Nicole Hernandez is a founder and principal of Matter Planning and Design, LLC, an interior architecture firm based in Aspen. Originally from Denver, her family moved to Aspen in 1990; she attended Aspen Country Day School in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. Nicole is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design. Previously, Nicole worked in marketing for both the Aspen Writers’ Foundation (currently known as Aspen Words, a program of the Aspen Institute), and in account management and production for Eleven Inc., an advertising agency based in San Francisco. Nicole is now a parent of two Aspen Country Day School students. She has served the school community as a volunteer on the Mission Minded branding project and the Partners in Education (PIE) Welcoming Committee. She has been the PIE Co-Chair, and is now PIE Chair for the ’22/’23 school year.
director of finance, past parent (’17, ’19, ’21)
director of advancement, parent of graduates (’06, ’12)
Carolyn, whose previous roles at school have included communications and admissions, has a BA in history from Bowdoin College. Before joining Aspen Country Day School in 2005, she was a reporter and editor for Gannett News Service, USA Today, the Rocky Mountain News, and Aspen Magazine, and was director of publications at Anderson Ranch Arts Center.
trustee, current parent (Kindergarten, Second)
Bret is a partner at Obermeyer Wood Investment Counsel, rated the top independent wealth management firm based in Colorado. Prior to moving to Aspen in 2018 with his wife, Amanda, and two boys, Bret lived and worked in New York City. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his B.S., cum laude, in philosophy, political science, and economics. Bret is trustee of Aspen Country Day School, where he serves on the executive committee. He also serves on the boards of the Boulder Chapter of YPO; the President’s Society at the Aspen Institute; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Lastly, Bret is an avid Boston Red Sox and Celtics fan.
trustee, current parent (Sixth, Eighth)
current parent (Preschool, Kindergarten, Second)
Jon currently runs a family office with investments across a wide range of asset classes including public securities, real estate, and venture capital. Previously, Jon served as a Partner at Tiger Global Management from 2001 to 2014, an investment firm with approximately $50 billion under management across public and private equity funds. He also served as an analyst in the Mergers & Acquisition group at Morgan Stanley from 1999 to 2001. Jon is a Director of Rightway Healthcare, a healthcare navigation and pharmacy benefit manager since 2019 and advises multiple other private businesses.
Mr. Locker holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. An avid volunteer, he is co-chair of the Tiger Foundation and a former board member of Blue Engine, Avenues for Justice, and the Morgan Autism Center. Jon moved to Aspen in September 2021 with his family.
trustee, current parent (Fourth, Seventh)
Ashley grew up in New York City and attended The Chapin School before moving on to Deerfield Academy and receiving a Bachelor of Science from Yale University. Following a 15-year career in public relations, she relocated to Palm Beach, Florida and started a new career working for Sotheby’s auction house. Ashley currently is an art consultant. She was on the boards of Jazz at Lincoln Center and Wildlife Conservation Society in New York for over 10 years and the Palm Beach Zoo while in Florida, and has also served as an advisor for the Everglades Foundation. In Aspen, she sits on the boards of Aspen Country Day School and the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES).
Drama teacher, parent of graduate (’12)
treasurer of the Board of Trustees, parent of graduate (’22), current parent (Third, Fifth, Seventh)
Alex grew up in Carbondale and attended Roaring Fork High School. He earned a degree in marketing and organizational management from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Alex has taught at Aspen Country Day School for 11 years in Fourth and Fifth Grade, Outdoor Education, international travel, and physical education.