Our motto at The Foundry is "Work hard. Be kind. Change the world."
Last week my husband was listening to a radio program that made a simple but brilliant point: A person cannot change the world without being different from the world.
It doesn't take long for an observer to notice that The Foundry is different (https://www.thefoundryschool.org/the-foundry-difference-1). In fact, I've often said that the reason we were blessed to have such a phenomenal group of students in our inaugural year is that, in order to take a risk on a brand new school, parents had to truly want something different for their kids. With that risk, came many rewards for the founding Foundry families, mine included. Just recently, I've had the grandparents of three students approach me to offer their gratitude for starting the school and to tell me just what a difference The Foundry has made for their grandchild.
I feel incredibly moved every time I hear a story of a life changed by The Foundry, so today I would like to honor the spark that inspired our school. This person is, to her credit, very different from the world. I'll never forget the first time I encountered Christi McCully. She was in the process of recruiting students for Liberty Tech Charter School, a K-8 project-based learning school, which she also founded. I attended an early info session for LTCS and was blown away by her enthusiasm for education. Christi wasn't starting a school for her kids. She was starting a school for our kids. She honestly cared so much about redefining education in our community that she and the founding board of Liberty Tech spent years creating a charter school. It was because of our positive experience at Liberty Tech that the parents currently serving on the board of The Foundry came together to start a high school which carried forward Christi's vision of a first-class, challenging education, project-based learning, STEM, virtues, and relevant work that matters. We were fortunate that Christi, never one to balk at a challenge, jumped right on board and is now the headmaster of The Foundry.
Day in and day out, Christi McCully shows how being different makes a difference. She works harder than just about anybody I know. She cares about the students as if they were her own children. Christi never accepts the status quo and has even said that if your dreams don't scare you, you're not dreaming big enough. Her eternal optimism and perseverance permeate the culture at The Foundry. Christi is setting the example for our students of how to be different than the world. Teenagers are often saddled with the world's expectation that they are lazy, entitled, and lacking the skills needed for success. Students at The Foundry are learning how to change society's perception of them by being virtuous, hardworking, kind, and empathetic. And it's paying off!
As amazing as Christi is, she can't do it alone. It takes a village to make possible what is happening at The Foundry: students, parents, House leaders, board members, teachers, volunteers, community partners. Together, we are doing something that's truly different and changing the world, one person, one project, one act of kindness at a time.