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Headmaster, Board of Directors, and other Stewards of Lakefield College School,
As the Graduating Class of 2015, and the last students to have worked alongside the six teachers that were recently dismissed, we feel it is our duty to address the governing body of Lakefield College School. We, the class of 2015, and many others, are concerned about the path the Grove is pursuing—especially given recent events.
We have been weary of the school’s direction for several years, but are only now taking action; we care too much to watch the school slide further downhill. Specifically, we have realized that we need to stand up for our teachers; they are not being treated with the dignity and respect they once showed us. Lakefield College School claims to be built on the Round Square principle of democracy, yet it terminated faculty members for voicing their opinions; we the friends of Lakefield College School cannot condone these actions and must address these pressing issues. You, Headmaster Struan Robertson and the Board of Directors, might make the big decisions on campus, but you will never fill a stage, conduct a concert, guide a debating club, or forge a hockey team to the degree that those you have decided to let go once did.
As members of the Class of 2015, we have been here for the entirety of Headmaster Struan Robertson’s leadership, and as such we feel we are qualified when we discuss our feelings of frustration and disappointment regarding what has transpired in the past three years. We believe the current leadership at the school is severely flawed; restructuring in the past three years has left the school almost unrecognizable. We began our careers at the Grove before the current Headmaster arrived, and we have been there since—and there is a clear distinction between the Grove of then and the Lakefield of today.
Under the current Headmaster and his leadership team we watched as staff who had been with us for decades were phased out and replaced with a younger, less experienced, much more obedient team. We were told this was done in the spirit of efficiency. However, such efficiency has come at a significant cost as the character of the school was sacrificed for numbers on a chart. Those who spoke up were the first to go, and many of the most recent casualties also shared opposition to the Board of Directors. This is not fair, nor is this right. This was not the Lakefield we all came to love. This is not the Grove. As important as it is to cut costs, the ends do not justify the means when the cost entails the core values of this institution. We, the Grads of 2015 have grown to love our school and only wish that students of the future will be afforded the same experiences. We are concerned. We are upset. And when the stewards of our school are confiding in a consulting firm that boldly declares “Lakefield is not special” and that “it’s just a school like any other”, there is quite plainly something disagreeable in our midst, and something that needs to be changed.
The school is changing, and we the Class of 2015 believe these changes are for the worse. We loved these teachers, and we will continue to love and support them, but we feel the school has failed them—and thus has failed us. At a minimum, why were these staff not recognized at Closing? These decisions had clearly been in the works for months, and with the way the proceedings were handled one cannot help but feel like there was a hidden agenda. We would like to assume the best of the administration, but with only the current facts, it is hard to do so. Change is not always bad, but it seems these newest changes threaten the core values of the school, threaten our teachers, and threaten our Lakefield Difference.
And so we find ourselves asking for your support, Alumni, parents, former staff, and as we plead for answers from the Stewards of our School, we hope you will not lose faith in the Grove. Instead we pray that you join us in signing and spreading this letter and voicing your concerns. Help us make change. Help us bring back our school. And help us to restore the integrity-‐and the values-‐of the Grove.
The Class of 2015
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