Name Change Exploration2022-11-29T13:05:57-05:00

Our New Name | July 2022

The Process

In the summer of 2021, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to explore the possibility of a name change. A Task Force was created to research all that this possibility would entail including all potential costs and benefits. A survey was conducted as well as multiple listening sessions to ensure we had broad feedback from all involved with the School. The Task Force also conducted research with college admissions officers, faculty/staff search firms, and other schools and nonprofits that have changed their names.

Based on that research, in January 2022 the Task Force unanimously recommended to the Board of Trustees that we change the name of the school; and the Board voted unanimously that same month to change the name. Next, we embarked on the process of determining a new name for the School. We hired a naming and branding firm, Bullhorn, a Louisville and Lexington firm, to guide us in the process. They spoke with numerous constituents from the school, examined all the research from the fall, and got to work. They presented 15 potential names to Board and school leaders, and the list was narrowed down to three finalist names: The Francis School, Francis Parker School, and The Bridges School. Those three names were then tested through surveys with internal and external audiences, as well as more listening sessions with internal audiences.

A Name Selection Committee was formed, including the Board Executive Committees from this and next year, as well as members of the School Leadership Team with the most tenure and expertise in advancement. The group carefully combed through the results of the recent surveys and listening sessions in order to determine its recommendation.

One of the most important conclusions from this recent work was that it is very important to the whole community to honor the history of the school and one of the most important ways to do that is to maintain the word “Francis” in the name. As such, the group narrowed down the options to two final names: The Francis School and Francis Parker School. In addition, the external research gave us clear feedback on “The Francis School”, which was that the majority of respondents still believed this would be a religious school.

In making our final decision, we reflected on our goals for choosing a new name for the School, which include: 1) eliminating confusion about any connection to a particular faith; 2) communicating our Mission and connection with the Progressive educational philosophy; 3) helping more Mission-appropriate families find us; 4) honoring the history of the School; and 5) positioning our school for long-term success and sustainability.

Read below for more in depth information about the process.

Name Change Exploration Task Force 2021

Chad Carlton – Task Force Chair, Trustee, Alum Parent

Trent Apple ’92 – High School Faculty, Current Parent

Nina Bonnie – Alum Parent, Former Trustee/Capital Campaign Chair

Greg Borders  – Associate Head of School, Finance and Operations, Alum Parent

Shayne Brill – Marketing Committee Member, Current Parent

Sarah Dewberry – Lower School Faculty, Current/Alum Parent

Patrick Donovan G’79, ’83 – Middle School Faculty, Alum Parent

Ginny Frazier – Trustee, Past Board Chair, Current Parent

Reed Gabhart – Past Goshen Campus Head, Drama Director/Middle School Math Teacher

Rafa Garibay – Trustee, Current Parent

Suzanne Gorman – Associate Head of School, Downtown Campus, Current/Alum Parent

Carolyn Gilles Hannan ‘99 – Marketing and Communications Director, Current Parent

Anna Hardwick-Jones G’18, ‘22 – High School Student

Paul Harshaw ‘86 – Preschool Faculty, Current Parent

Bethany Heckel – Director of Advancement

Renee Hennessy – Preschool Director, Alum Parent

Kelly Wright Henrion ‘92 – Trustee

Wes Johnson – Trustee, Alum Parent

Shelly Jones – Associate Head of School, Goshen Campus, Teaching and Learning, Current Parent

Suzy Lancaster – Trustee, Alum Parent

Stewart Lussky – Trustee, Current Parent

Ben Manno G’20, ‘24 – High School Student

James Melhuish – Board Chair, Current Parent

Deena Neimat – Trustee, Current Parent

Micah Patrick G’22 – Middle School Student

Rob Penta ‘99 – Trustee

John Shumate G’96, ’00 – Board Vice Chair

Deron Simmons G’02, ‘06 – Trustee

Alexandra Thurstone G ‘80, ‘84 – Head of School, Alum Parent

Scott Waldman G’91 – Current Parent

Maya Wright G’23 – Middle School Student

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