A message from Alexandra and Ken Edwards

thurstoneUpdate

December 15, 2017

We wanted to update you about our efforts to address any allegations sexual misconduct by SFS faculty or staff, including by a high school faculty member in the 1980s. As Ken and I said in our letter dated December 5th , we have engaged an experienced independent investigator to assist in this mission. Our goal is that this investigation be independent, compassionate, and deliberate, in order to appropriately identify and acknowledge any allegations of misconduct.

We understand that the investigator, Sarah Worley, has been receiving emails and telephone calls, but we are not privy to more specific information, given the independent nature of the investigation. We continue to encourage anyone in the St. Francis community to contact Sarah Worley directly with any relevant information. Sarah can be reached by phone at 617-419-1900, or via email at sarah@worleyconflictresolution.com. We have also discussed this investigation with current SFS high school students to keep them informed and to encourage them to reach out to a trusted adult if they have any relevant information, or if they are ever uncomfortable about a relationship with an adult.

We understand that many of you may have questions for us. While we may not have all the answers, particularly with respect to the status of the investigation, we are here to listen and discuss. If you have specific questions or concerns, please email them to us and we will do our best to respond. Many in our community have already reached out in this way. It is also possible to meet face to face if you would like. If so, please call Laura Devlin at 502-736-1006 and she will set something up for us. We will continue to be in touch throughout the process.

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Alexandra S. Thurstone, G’80, ’84, Head of School 

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Kenneth F. Edwards, Chair, SFS Board of Trustees


 

December 5, 2017

We write to you today with heavy hearts. From Alexandra’s perspective as an alumna, an alumni parent, and the Head of School for 15 years, and from Ken’s perspective as an alumni parent and the Chair of our Board of Trustees, we are deeply committed to St. Francis, its students, its alumni, its faculty and staff, and its Mission overall. A school should be a safe, welcoming, and affirming place, and we at St. Francis have worked very hard over these last 50+ years to ensure that it is.

In January 2015, two of our alumnae came to the School with allegations relating to inappropriate sexual conduct in the 1980s by a then and current high school faculty member. When these allegations were brought forward, the School retained an investigator to conduct an investigation of these allegations. Based on the conclusion of that investigation, the School handled it as a personnel matter internally, determining not to dismiss the faculty member in question. During the investigation, no other allegations of misconduct by this faculty member were disclosed.

Recently, however, we have reflected on evolving standards in addressing such concerns at Independent Schools like St Francis. Upon reviewing this seriously, we acknowledge that the prior investigation may not be adequate under these evolving standards and best practices of today. Recognizing the importance of addressing these issues with the utmost compassion and transparency, we have decided to engage a new independent investigator to re-execute the investigation and place the faculty member on leave until the investigation is complete.

We have retained an experienced investigator, Sarah Worley, to do this important work in line with our principles. Specifically, we are guided by the following goals:

  • Ensuring the safety of our students;
  • Protecting the privacy of and showing compassion for any victims;
  • Treating our faculty and staff fairly; and
  • Being as transparent as possible with the community, while preserving the School’s duty to preserving the safety of students, well-being of any victims, and privacy of faculty and staff.

Sarah’s website, www.worleyconflictresolution.com, contains detailed information on her background; she has extensive experience in this area as a certified Civil Rights and Title IX investigator, and, as an example, served as the lead mediator in the Boston Archdiocese case. Sarah can be reached by phone at 617-419-0900, or via email at sarah@worleyconflictresolution.com. We encourage anyone in the St. Francis community to contact Sarah directly with information about these allegations or any other allegations.

It took great courage and strength on the part of these two alumnae to come forward, and we thank them for doing so. The nature of these allegations is deeply unsettling. However, this is also difficult because the allegations involve a faculty member who has served the community for many years. So we take these allegations very seriously, recognizing our responsibility and obligation to treat everyone involved with compassion and fairness. It is our commitment to ensure that we conduct a deep and thorough investigation and come to a just resolution for all parties involved. We ask all in the community to do your part to help us do so.

The spirit of St. Francis School is one of compassion and self-reflection, and it is that compassion and self-reflection that will lead our community forward together.

Sincerely,

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Alexandra S. Thurstone, G’80, ’84, Head of School 

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Kenneth F. Edwards, Chair, SFS Board of Trustees

Goshen Garden in the news

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Click here to see a great story on our garden program from WHAS 11. 

Sam Borden ’16, featured in C-J for his perfect ACT score

Sam Borden '16

Sam Borden ’16

Kudos to senior Sam Borden ’16! Sam is featured in the Courier-Journal today for his perfect ACT score. In the article, Sam gives a shout out to Dr. B, aka Benjamin Studenvent-Hickman, “his physics teacher, Benjamin Studevent-Hickman, has been a great role model for him, and someone he wants to emulate.” When asked about Sam, Dr. B returned the praise saying, “Sam is an extraordinary kid because of his deep intellect, myriad talents, and modesty. Sam is an extraordinary student for his willingness to integrate feedback from his teachers, not only on his work and academics but also on his life in general.”

Sam’s senior project is on the acoustics, history, and cultural significance of the erhu, a two-stringed bowed musical instrument.  “His ability to integrate physics, historical research — partly in Chinese — and a sensitivity to cultural nuance, all as part of a single project, is why I choose mature as the one word to describe him,” said Dr. B.

Brice Rosenbloom curating BRIC Jazz Fest

 

Brice Rosenbloom

Brice Rosenbloom

Brice Rosenbloom, G’89, ’93 the founder and co-producer of Winter Jazzfest, is one of several curators of the BRIC JazzFest, which opened this month in Brooklyn.

Wyvern wins an Emmy!

Devin Emke G'84, '88 wins an EmmyCongratulations to alumnus Devin Emke G’84 ’88 on winning an Emmy for ‘Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Variety Series’ for the “SNL” 40th Anniversary Special!

 

Goal by Napo ’13 for UK!

Napo Matsoso’s 90th minute goal gave UK a win in the first game of the season! Article and video here.

Napo

Ray Harbin ’15 awarded Petrino Family Foundation scholarship

University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino formally announced recent St. Francis School graduate Ra’vonte Harbin on Tuesday as the first recipient of the Cardinal Covenant Petrino Family Foundation Scholarship to attend U of L. Full article here.

 

All School Back-to-School Picnic

Join us! Saturday, August 15, 2015 at the Goshen Campus from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

9:30 – 10:45 a.m. MS Field Hockey & Soccer Clinics
11:00 a.m. Varsity Field Hockey & Soccer Scrimmages
11:30 a.m. All-School Activities Start:
Food Trucks and SFS Grill open for lunch

Face painting, bouncy house, dunk tank, alumni bricks, yearbook pick-up,and more!

Julie Leidner is 2015 winner of the M. A. Hadley Prize for Visual Art

Congratulations to our own Julie Leidner the 2015 winner of the MARY ALICE HADLEY PRIZE FOR VISUAL ART. In collaboration with another local artist, Katy Delahanty, Leidner is pursuing a documentary-style graphic novel that tells the stories of pioneering feminist social activists in Kentucky. Leidner will use the $5,000 Hadley Prize to travel to New York City to attend the 10th annual New York Art Book Fair and the seventh annual Contemporary Artists’ Book Conference, as well as view museum exhibitions, attend panels and participate in workshops directly
related to the collaborative project.

Thanks for giving to the Annual Fund!

St. Francis School's photo.
We did it! Thank you, to all of our Annual Fund donors. We surpassed our goal!
Here’s a short video to show our gratitude!