Marie Bigham's blog

Happy August

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this email is met with a flurry of out-of-the-office replies, meaning many of you are still enjoying summer. For those of you back (or still) in the office, I hope that you’re gearing up for a new senior class and a new year in the ACCIS fold. My own year begins in awe of the role that I’ve stepped into in this association, and with gratitude to all of those who balance tireless work for ACCIS with ever demanding day jobs. It cannot be said enough how much thanks we owe to the leadership of Eric Monheim (St. Mark’s School) over the last three years. To underscore the sizeable shoes left to fill, the job Eric had was wisely divided into three positions going forward, and I am lucky to be joined by Marie Bigham (Greenhill School) and Gavin Bradley (Pace Academy) as vice-chairs. ACCIS is also led by a sage and strong Board of Trustees, under the leadership of Chair Sam Moss (Darlington School) and Chair-elect Tamar Adegbile (Harvard-Westlake School). It’s going to be a great year.

Congratulations to the winners of the ACCIS election!

The 2013 ACCIS Election results are in!  We are pleased to announce that Larry Momo and Ari Worthman have both been elected to the Board of Trustees for 2013-2016.  Jenny Rickard’s appointment to the Board of Trustees for a full term as a non-counselor/outside expert has also been affirmed by the membership.  Finally, changes to the by-laws have been overwhelmingly approved.  Certainly, we thank all who ran and look forward to strong leadership by these new trustees on the Board as well as active involvement by the entire membership.  The challenges we face in meeting the needs of our independent school students while working as an active voice in a much broader way in education world-wide are great.  Building on the strong foundations laid since ACCIS was established, we look forward to an exciting future.

ACCIS Applauds Boston College

By Gavin Bradley

As we wade through the final few weeks of the 2012-13 cycle and begin to plan for next year, I wanted to update you all on one of ACCIS's newer initiatives.

From our earliest meetings we have hoped that the collective voices of our little organization could positively influence the national conversation on college admission.  While the students in ACCIS schools represent a small fraction of high school students nationally, the wisdom and experience of our membership is widely acknowledged and respected.  ACCIS members hold leadership positions in every major national and regional professional organization in our field and are often called on to provide commentary on college admission in various media outlets.

Last January, at a meeting of the ACCIS executive committee and board of trustees at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, we discussed ways we could provide support for deans, directors, and staffs of college admission offices who were acting in the best interest of students.  This was borne of an idea that has been knocking around the organization of an “ACCIS seal of approval” for admission professionals and offices who seem to be trying to do things right, something akin to the CTCL endorsement.

In an effort to start the ball rolling a number of us drafted a letter of commendation for John Mahoney and his staff at Boston College.  As many of you know, John made the risky choice of adding a supplemental essay that was sure to cost them applications.  The general consensus among ACCIS members was that this thoughtful and intentional choice served both students and Boston College in positive ways. Unfortunately, BC saw a more severe drop in applications than they expected and the ACCIS leadership saw an opportunity to offer our support for a college side colleague who is trying to do the right thing.

Below is the text of the commendation that was sent to the president of Boston College, the secretary of the Board of Trustees, and to John Mahoney.  We've included John's response was well.