All In The Campaign for Blair Academy 2018-2025

The Five Fundamentals of Living & Working at Blair

Following the many conversations and interactions that resulted from the events of the summer of 2020, a team of students, faculty and staff developed and introduced to the community The Five Fundamentals of Blair Academy as part of a larger effort to express the School’s values and hold community members to a standard for living and working together.

The Five Fundamentals are: See the good; Know yourself & practice honesty; Honor the dignity of others; Show care in all spaces; and Be curious & suspend judgment.

Everyone at Blair has value and should be uplifted, and we should all show care for one another. To be committed to making sure everyone is thriving and growing in ways that make sense is a real testament to one’s own development as an individual and how we develop as a whole community.
Leucretia Shaw, Dean of faculty life

The Five Fundamentals of Blair Academy

The Founding Team

  • Barbara Angiolelli, instructional technologist
  • Bob Brandwood, English teacher
  • Carolyn Conforti-Browse ’79, Dean of Campus Life & director of leadership programs
  • Eleanor Dana ’22
  • Sharon Merrifield, language, mindfulness & health/wellness teacher
  • Ryan Pagotto ’97, Associate Head of School
  • Patrick Payne ’23
  • Lorry Perry, former Assistant Head of School for Academics & Dean of Faculty
  • Laura Posner ’22
  • Leucretia Shaw, Dean of Faculty Life
  • Evan Thomas, Dean of Equity, Inclusivity and Belonging & fine arts teacher
  • Kecia Tillman, registrar
  • Renee Tracey ’23
  • Miki Wang ’21

Developing the Five Fundamentals

Distilled and wordsmithed from norms submitted by peers and colleagues and brilliantly named by Renee Tracey ’23, these guideposts of how we care for and treat one another were introduced in March 2021. A Founding Team worked on these community “norms” initially and determined how to best incorporate them into all aspects of school life—academics, residential life, student life, athletics and other areas (which include the work of the admission office and Blair staff, as well as sharing them with members of Blair’s extended family). Today, a new Fundamentals Recognition Committee carries on that work and regularly celebrates nominated individuals who embody the Fundamentals at School Meeting.

Fine arts teacher and Fundamentals Team member Evan Thomas developed a graphic that depicted The Five Fundamentals in a way that pleases the eye while maintaining the importance of each Fundamental individually. Associate Dean of Students Andee Ryerson lent her artistic perspective to an additional design the group adopted. Both will be used accordingly, on campus and beyond.

The Founding Team and Fundamental Recognition Committee are grateful to its student members, who helped capture how we want to be as a school community and develop shared values for day-to-day life at Blair. The Fundamentals are in place as guides so that everyone can thrive and grow in ways that make sense, and team members look forward to seeing them take hold now and throughout Blair’s future.