Mission Development Committee Report
New Trier Athletic Department Mission Statement Proposal
Future Mission Development Committee Planning 2008-09
July 19, 2008
The purpose of this document is to trace the history of the work of the New Trier Athletic Department Mission Committee, offer for consideration and approval to the New Trier Athletic Staff a mission statement to be placed into use for the 2008-09 school year and highlight future planning attached to an approved mission statement. This report should also serve as an acknowledgement of thanks to the many contributors to this project included members of the Mission Development Committee, members of the New Trier athletic coaching staff, the Student Athletic Leadership Team (SALT) and their staff and the New Trier Booster Club. All of these groups are to be thanked for their gift of time and support in the development of proposed New Trier Athletic Mission Statement.
History- Initial Research and Formation of the Mission Development Committee
On the basis of initial conversations with members of the Athletic Department Administrative team in June 2007, a letter was sent on June 24, 2007 to all members of the New Trier coaching staff and New Trier school administration outlining a proposed agenda of Athletic Department activity for the 2007-2008 school year. Agenda item #6 stated "With the benefit of a school-wide mission statement already in place, the department will create its own UU Athletic Mission Statement UU . The Mission Statement will align with the school's existing statement for the Department and will be created with input from a variety of constituent groups that will include but not be limited to students, coaches, athletic administration and community. The first exercise in creating the Statement will be presented at our Fall Department meeting in August."
During the New Trier all-school Coaches Meeting on August 20 th , a plan for the development of a school Athletic Mission Statement by a committee of New Trier coaches and athletic administration was presented. Compelling reasons for development of a mission statement were offered and included;
- An opportunity to begin to identify basic student outcomes and "Core Beliefs" attached to the New Trier athletic experience.
- In conjunction with the theme "Learning from Each Other" and guided by a common statement of belief, New Trier coaches would be able to draft a set of competencies and practice for the implementation of successful coaching at New Trier High School.
- A statement of beliefs developed at New Trier and "owned by New Trier" would have a greater relevance and likelihood of successful adoption.
- A New Trier Athletic Mission Statement would support future decision-making
- An understanding of what should be accomplished by the department in terms of coaching outcomes would permit better measurement of our success both in the administration of the department and in the delivery of instruction.
- The development of a successful Athletic Mission statement would link to and support the New Trier institutional motto "To commit minds to inquiry, hearts to compassion and lives to the service of humanity".
Initial research was conducted as each coach was asked to respond to the question "What should a student take away from participation in your program?" More than three-hundred responses were collected and entered into a database for further review. The review of the database from this group and future surveys was designed to increase an understanding of the "Goals and Objectives" of athletic participation at New Trier High School from multiple viewpoints. The understanding would be aided by listing the intended outcomes of a perceived successful experience as viewed by students, coaches, parents and athletic administration.
On September 27, 2007 each New Trier coach received an e-mail offering the opportunity to join one of four New Trier Athletic Department Committees. The description of the Mission Development Committee read " Mission Development - A committee of 8-10 to develop an Athletic Mission Statement derived from a study of the Department's Goals and Objectives and guided by the theme of "Learning from One Another". Membership in the committee was announced on October 23, 2007 and included coaches Tony Brooks (Rowing), David Hjelmgren (Girls Bowling, Tennis), Rob Holmes (Football), Jerry Morse-Karzen (Girls Tennis), Mike Napoleon, (Baseball, Football) and athletic department members Debbie Ofcky (Assistant Athletic Director, Badminton, Golf), Robert Ruiz (Athletic Coordinator, Northfield, Boys Golf) and Randy Oberembt (Athletic Director). The Mission Committee met on five occasions during the course of the year beginning in January and ending in late May.
Collection of Data
The first step and key component in the development of Athletic Department "Goals and Objectives" was the collection of data surrounding the perception of what outcomes should constitute a successful athletic experience for students. In addition to the initial data collected on August 20 th from coaches, the Committee also sought responses from students and adults with significant involvement in and commitment to the athletic program at New Trier. On two occasions (January 22 and March 20), the SALT class was asked to participate in data collection. On May 5 th , more than twenty-five members of the New Trier Booster Club's Executive Committee were solicited. Finally, the eight-person committee offered input to the central question under consideration "What should a student take away from a successful New Trier High School athletic experience?"
Review of Data
More than five hundred fifty responses were eventually collected from the four constituency groups. They included coaches (330), SALT (81), Booster Club (70) and Mission Committee (80). Early in the process, the decision was made to further categorize the responses by placing them into one of the three commonly defined domains of learning; Social-Emotional, Intellectual or Physical. The SALT class, Booster Club and Mission Committee also then categorized their responses into one of the three domains. Several themes emerged as the Mission Committee reviewed responses from all four groups.
- Significant agreement among the groups was noted when comparing the repeated and commonly offered outcomes. As an example, when organized into five groups of students, and asked to prioritize outcomes they had offered on the basis of importance, four of five groups within the SALT class listed (acquiring) "Teamwork" as an outcome of a positive experience; three listed "Confidence" ; three listed "Dedication"; and the outcomes of "Respect", "Enjoyment-Fun" and "Friendship" all made more than one appearance on their lists.
- The committee also noted, when asked to prioritize individual domains, the SALT Class, Booster Club and Committee overwhelmingly stated the domain outcomes listed under "Social-Emotional" and the domain itself were of more significance than either the "Physical" or "Intellectual" outcomes associated with an athletic experience. The data showed 72 responses for "Social-Emotional" as the top priority , none for "Intellectual" and one for "Physical".
- The Committee acknowledges that, although data was collected from key constituent groups, this work would not be qualified to be considered as professional data collection and analysis. The Committee does believe, however, that these snapshots provide a window into a better understanding of what our community believes should be the goals and outcomes of a successful athletic experience. The Committee also acknowledges that part of their charge was to aid in the goal of promoting a better understanding and use of the commonly held wisdom of New Trier coaches, parents, and the students themselves.
Development of Goal Statements
Following a review of the collected responses, the Committee began the process of data analysis and the development of a series of Goal Statements that would express commonly held beliefs of all constituent groups. A successfully worded Goal Statement would permit the Department to identify and focus on the major themes within the Physical, Intellectual and Social-Emotional Domains of student learning. The Committee began work in three groups and, following several drafts and review by the entire committee, concluded their work with the three Goals Statements listed below.
New Trier Mission Development Committee Goals Statements (May 2008)
Social/Emotional - Student-Athletes will demonstrate compassion, responsibility and dedication to their team & teammates as they act with integrity, honor and an understanding of his/her role in the school and community. Spirit, loyalty, confidence, self-esteem and enjoyment of the sport are visible components of a positive experience.
Intellectual- Utilizing a strong work ethic and disciplined judgment, the athlete values team accomplishments above personal achievement. Through consistent analysis and reflection, the athlete comes to a better understanding of their sport, teammates, and values the spirit of competition.
U Physical - The athletic department is committed to providing athletes opportunities that promote students improvement in their specific sport. Enhancing an athlete's awareness of the positive impact of hard work, development of measurable skills, attention to detail and the ability to deal with adversity are tools that will be used in life as well as in competition.
Development of the Mission Statement
Following the completion of the Goal Statement Development Process, the Committee initiated work on statement of mission. The group researched commonly held definitions of successful mission statements and models of design. Particular attention was paid to mission statements dealing with athletics. Paramount in the consideration of the committee's design of a statement for New Trier's athletic department was that a connection to the school's institutional motto be central and clear to even the casual observer. The Committee carefully considered several approaches and settled on an initial statement of purpose and three paragraphs that built on the introduction with specific rationales, steps, and milestones that would be used to reach the goals of the mission introduction. It was the intention that each succeeding paragraph be readily identified as connected to one of the three domains of "Social-Emotional", "Intellectual", and "Physical" growth and well-being. Following acceptance of the original draft by the Committee in early June, the text was offered to the New Trier English Department Chair for review. The Committee wishes to acknowledge and thank John Cadwell for his review and editing of the document. Revisions to the document to make it more readable were offered to the Committee and final draft (below) was approved in late June.
New Trier High School Athletic Mission Statement (June, 2008)
Proposed Final Draft 7-19-08
New Trier Athletic programs will provide an experience that fosters an emotional, physical and intellectual foundation for growth and well-being. The New Trier institutional motto, " to commit minds to inquiry, hearts to compassion, and lives to the service of humanity…" is a reminder that these programs provide a direct connection to the quality of our students' educational experiences now and in the future.
The New Trier Athletic Department is committed to providing opportunities that enhance the experiences of student-athletes in their specific sports. The department believes that participation in sport produces lessons that will be used in life as well as in competition: interscholastic and intramural sports promote an awareness of the positive impact of hard work, the value of developing measurable skills, the importance of attending to detail, and the ability to persevere through adversity.
Utilizing a strong work ethic and disciplined judgment, the athlete values team accomplishments above personal achievement. Through consistent analysis and reflection, athletes come to a better understanding of their sport, teammates, and the spirit of competition.
Student-Athletes will demonstrate compassion, responsibility and dedication to their team and teammates as they act with integrity, honor, and an understanding of his/her role in the school and community. Spirit, loyalty, confidence, self-esteem and enjoyment of the sport are visible components of a positive experience.
Coaches Approve New Trier Athletic Mission Statement
By a vote of 100-0, New Trier coaches approved a draft of an Athletic Mission Statement presented by the New Trier Mission Committee. Eighty-eight votes were cast supporting the measure without comment, twelve votes supported the measure with comment and no votes were cast in opposition to the measure. One hundred twenty-two coaches attended the August 19 th presentation by Committee members David Hjelmgren and Rob Holmes. The Mission Committee will reconvene to continue work on the application of the new Mission Statement using the theme "Learning From Each Other" to catalogue and share successful coaching strategies already in use by the New Trier Staff that meet the goals of the Statement. The Committee appreciates those coaches who offered comments on the proposal and look forward to an opportunity to review and respond.