GSCM Vision Statement
“to grow in wisdom, age, and favor before God and men.” (Luke 2:52)
GSCM Mission Statement
GSCM is dedicated to providing an outstanding education to children ages three to fourteen years in a Catholic atmosphere faithful to the Magisterium of the Church. Using the philosophy and techniques of the Montessori approach, including religious education through the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd , our goal is to enable each child to develop as a well-integrated human being: spiritually, intellectually, socially, physically, and emotionally.
Serving the Mission
The GSCM Board of Trustees is committed to serving the vision and mission of The Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori School. Trustees volunteer their time, talent, and treasure to ensure the current and future sustainability of the community in regards to finances, leadership, and facilities. The Board supports the administration in fulfilling the mission and vision of the school.
Committed to sustaining the future of the school in the continuation of its mission, the Board of Trustees sets out a strategic plan to guide its work. In January of 2020 a new strategic plan was promulgated for the next five years. The strategic plan focuses on three areas of growth with specific objectives, strategies and metrics to guide implementation. The Board, administration, and staff have been working to meet these goals and move toward continuous improvement and mission development.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Expansion Prayer and Celebration Light of Catholicism in the Modern World
Multi-year Expense Control Development Keep Tuition Affordable
Parent-Teacher Communication and Relationships Support for High Achievers Development and Retention of Teachers and Staff
GSCM has enjoyed a sustained, healthy enrollment over the past several years. Marketing and development efforts have created a positive reputation in the greater Cincinnati community leading to numerous applications for all grade levels. At the time of priority enrollment, there are 63 applicants for the 2021-2022 school year. Tuition contracts have been sent to all current families to re-enroll for the 2021-2022 school year.
The Board approved a 3% increase in tuition for the 2021-2022 school year. This increase will enable GSCM to continue its mission to provide an outstanding education focused on Montessori principles within a strong Catholic atmosphere. The Board is committed to applying tuition money to strengthen faculty/staff support, training, and development, continually upgrade our 13 acre campus, and provide academic and spiritual enrichment and encouragement to children and families.
GSCM continues to enjoy a stable financial situation. Thanks to the generosity of so many parents, grandparents, supporters, and sponsors we are wrapping up the Bold Vision, Bright Future Capital Campaign from 2016. This campaign enabled GSCM to build the Bushelman Educational Building, housing Upper Elementary, purchase and renovate The Holy Family House, encompassing the Middle School Adolescent Program and Extended Care, and replace the windows and facade on the northside of the main school building.
Although the 2020 GSCM Gala was cancelled due to COVID, an online auction and other donations raised $25,000+. The 2020 Walkathon netted $27,000+. The 2020-2021 Annual Fund stands at $32,000+ as of early January (more than double where we were last year at this time). The Annual Fund will continue through June and plans are underway for another online auction and outdoor spring event. All fundraising efforts help to balance the school’s operating budget and continue to meet the needs of the school’s mission.
Financial goals continue to center on reaching out to benefactors and donors, paying off debt, updating and upgrading the school’s facility, and keeping tuition affordable. Over the next few years we will continue to fundraise toward a significant upgrade in the HVAC system in the main building, with the goal of installing air conditioning. Walkathon money and other donations are a seed for this improvement, but significant fundraising will be necessary to meet the cost of this major upgrade.
GSCM is blessed with generous families and benefactors committed to upholding the mission.
Success in Difficult Times
Despite the difficulties that the COVID pandemic has caused, GSCM continues to thrive by working together as a united, faith-filled community. GSCM successfully re-opened its doors in August and continues to offer full, in-person learning five days a week.
The administrative staff including Anne Marie Vega, Lynette Rosati-Shim, Terese Munro, Dan Teller, and Zach Gagel worked tirelessly all summer to enable and secure a safe and healthy environment. Lynette Rosati-Shim, our Financial Director, secured the Payroll Protection Loan ensuring that all staff were paid throughout the shutdown in the spring and summer. Anne Marie Vega and Terese Munro, our Development Director, sought out various grants and funds to purchase PPE, outdoor tents, hand sanitizer, teacher and student technology, etc. Dan Teller and Zach Gagel worked to prepare the facility for our return to school, including a renovation of the office space, installing water-filling stations, clearing outdoor environments, etc.
Teachers spent numerous hours and energy configuring and adapting their classroom spaces for physical distancing and creating materials and curriculum to continue to uphold our Montessori principles and methodologies. Teachers also created an entire “remote learning” model to enable consistency of learning if needed for a shut-down or quarantine.
Although we miss some of the “normal” aspects of GSCM that we love, the pandemic encourages all of us to consider the essentialities of our mission and respond with encouragement and a mindset of growth. Our community has blossomed with the beauty of outdoor learning: building forts, raking leaves, making hammocks in the woods, sweeping the patio, working and eating outside, etc. Children have more uninterrupted work time to follow their passions and deepen their understanding in an authentic “Montessori Way.”
The cancellation of gathering as a community for liturgy and prayer caused a deep void and longing for connection. A new partnership with St. Anthony Parish in Madisonville has now been established as they opened their doors to our school community on Friday mornings this fall. The priests of the eastside region are scheduled to come to school this winter and spring to offer Mass in individual classrooms. The Catholic identity committee also worked to create resources for prayer celebrations in the home. PTO sponsored a Advent Wreath sale to great success, putting over 60 wreaths into homes this year.
As a community we are upheld by our faith and take solace in the words revealed to St. Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
The GSCM Board and entire faculty/staff embrace the mission of GSCM and seek to thrive as a committed community.
Alison Zlatic, President
Martin Wihelmy, Vice President
Ernie Corvi, Treasurer
Jana Widmeyer, Secretary
Lindsey Schmitt, Trustee
Marybeth Escamilla, Trustee
Mary Lennard, Trustee
Anne Marie Vega, Principal
New Board Members
Board members serve three year terms. New Board members are discerned each November and begin service in January. In 2021 GSCM welcomed the following trustees:
Anna Mitchell Egan
Biographies of each Board trustee can be found on the school’s website.
In the Footsteps of the Good Shepherd…
The Board of Trustees is entrusted with upholding the vision and mission of the Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori School. The Board along with the faculty/staff, parent community, student body, and school supporters enable GSCM to thrive as a Montessori community enlivened and rooted in a deep and personal relationship with Christ. Each of us is called by name to follow the Good Shepherd along the path of growth and formation as individuals and a community. Working together we will continue to thrive, making GSCM the BEST CATHOLIC MONTESSORI SCHOOL in the area, enabling each child to “grow in wisdom, age, and favor before God and men”