“What a crazy year!” A phrase we’ve all heard so often during the last several months and likely the first thought that will cross my mind whenever I look back on my presidency.
If I were to describe a theme for this year’s term, it would be perseverance. This is a year that presented challenges unlike anything we’ve seen before. It has been an honor to lead this Foundation during such uncertain times and a privilege to witness the resilience of our board. This year introduced all of us everywhere to a new standard of life. Certain things that we have all grown accustomed to and often taken for granted now seem like distant memories. From the Foundation’s standpoint, it is easy to illustrate this evolution. I look back on how we kicked off the previous school year, without any fear, in a jam-packed venue as we hosted our highly attended R-Party. Contrast that with the upcoming annual Rider Cup, where we will emphasize social distancing and a host of other new cautionary measures. It is important that we’ve adapted while remaining focused on our Foundation’s mission.
Our students and parents were also introduced to a new school life during the year. This year gave me plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the students and their futures. I have no doubt that the experiences and challenges they’ve faced during the past year will benefit them as they encounter obstacles as adults.
As we begin the next school year, it will come with new challenges and new goals for the Foundation. I will leave it to my successor to organize those goals and craft a vision for the future of the board. I exit my presidency knowing that my successor is ready to accomplish great things and my confidence in her leadership cannot be overstated. With that, I would like to welcome Rose Green into the role of Board President. I have had the privilege of working very closely with Rose over the last two years and one thing that has always stood out to me is her passion for Roosevelt and the Roosevelt community. She is a natural leader and I am really looking forward to watching her guide us through the next term. Moving forward, It will be important to build upon some of the great things we were able to accomplish this year … a brand-new Foundation website, a new and enhanced alumni/donor database … a lot to be grateful for. As a fundraising organization, it will be imperative that we continue to find new creative ways to engage with the community despite the limitations presented in a pandemic.
So as I bid my farewell, I would like to end my presidency with a series of sentiments. First and foremost would be gratitude to the Roosevelt community. During the year I had a first-hand look at how much the community cares about our school, and it was personally uplifting to witness. Next, I want to express my admiration for our teachers and staff. If anything, this year has made it much easier to understand that schools aren’t just buildings where students come to learn. Teachers are irreplaceable. The bond and connection between teachers/staff and their students is irreplaceable. Last but not least, I’d like to express pride in our students. It has always been an honor to get to meet the students, hear about their life experiences, and see their optimism for the future. Roosevelt students have a long history of going on to do extraordinary things. During the year, I and other members of the Foundation board got to personally deliver scholarships to our award recipients, and I left each of those meetings more confident than ever that the Roosevelt tradition of excellence will continue.
It goes without saying that I am very proud of the year that we’ve had in the most unique set of circumstances. It was one of the great honors of my life to be President this year and to serve alongside such a phenomenal group of people. I can’t wait to see what the future brings for our Foundation, and I plan to be along for the ride. Thank you all for your faith in my leadership, and let’s work together to keep the momentum going!
DeMario Luttrell '07
2019-2020 Board President