Dear Friends ,
We can all take pride in ACS ’ s determination and spirit in this age of the pandemic . From our prep class to our alumni , from faculty and staff to trustees , from current parents to longtime friends of the College , the work of our community has been remarkable in response to unprecedented challenges . This Annual Report provides perspectives on that response , celebrating what our graduates , students , and community have achieved in the 2019-20 school year and looking forward into the future . As you know , our campus was closed most of the second semester because of the pandemic , as were schools around the world . Thanks to the leadership and hard work of our faculty , staff , and students , we transitioned successfully to distance learning last spring and successfully implemented a blended learning program ( in person as well as online ) for the new school year in September . It has been gratifying to see the great resilience , intelligence , and creativity evident throughout our community .
Commencement is always a highlight of any year , especially so this past year , as we were able to hold this special ceremony in person at ACS on a beautiful day in late June . Our newest alumni , the ACS Class of 2020 are an impressive group of young people , already accomplished in so many areas : science and technology , the performing arts , mathematics , the humanities , sports , oratory and debate , civic and social life . Their academic records at ACS were truly exceptional , and their overall achievements emblematic of accomplishments and performances by students throughout ACS .
Those of us who become educators do so with hope of guiding and inspiring young people . Then so often we find that it is young people who inspire us . Such is the case with our ACS students : they have not let the pandemic keep them from pursuing their hopes , dreams , and plans for the future . All of our students deserve congratulations for their determination and persistence throughout last year and the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year . And I am delighted to report that the group that has now entered our school as the Class of 2025 ensures the continuing strength and vitality of our student body .
Our students in turn continue to be impressed and inspired by the dedication and enthusiasm of ACS teachers and mentors . We owe our faculty and staff a great debt of gratitude for the extraordinary contributions they make as a diverse , talented , creative , and energetic group of men and women committed to the education of young people . Together ACS faculty and staff have created and implemented a plan to combine in-person and online classes while working together with students to create a safe environment on campus .
The institutional and philanthropic leadership of our dedicated Board of Trustees is vital to the ongoing success of the College . In particular , I want to salute outgoing Chair , Jon Clayton , for his great stewardship and leadership by example in supporting ACS and promoting its mission and work . Thankfully , we will continue work on the Board , sustaining the unique legacy of the Clayton / Black family at ACS that dates back to the 1920s and the legendary leadership of President Floyd Black . And our community joins in celebrating the election of ACS alumna Theodora Konetsovska ’ 97 as the new Board Chair . An enormously talented and accomplished professional in finance and a former senior finance administrator at Harvard University , Theodora is the first graduate of the school , the first Bulgarian-American , and the first woman to lead the ACS Board . She brings an abiding love for and dedication to the College as well as exceptional expertise and talent to this critical leadership role .
Finally , I want to acknowledge the time , talent , and generous donations , grants , and recurring gifts in support of teaching and learning , special projects , and financial aid that we receive from parents , alumni , and other members of our community . This past year in response to the pandemic , we had an outpouring of giving in support of our financial aid program , so important to providing deserving students the opportunity to study at ACS regardless of their parents ’ ability to pay tuition fees . In addition , earlier this year ASHA ( American Schools and Hospitals Abroad , a division of USAID ) awarded ACS a grant for $ 720,000 for the renovation of Abbott Hall , the largest single grant ACS has ever received from this funding organization . We look forward to reporting on implementation plans for this important and exciting campus project .
Even as we all confront immediate and pressing challenges in response to the pandemic , we believe it is now more important than ever to invest in our collective future through the ongoing education of young people . We firmly believe that such investments will reap great benefits for our increasingly interconnected , world community in the years and decades ahead . I thank you all for your faithful support .
Richard T . Ewing , Jr . Ed . D . President