“We are celebrating our … year at a pivotal point in history that can be described as the culminating moments of the end of a season and the beginning phase of another. When winter approaches, the trees turn their energies inward to sustain themselves for the winter months, and their leaves beguile us with brilliant reds, yellows, oranges and rich browns as one part of their task is completed. They glide to the forest floor to begin the cycle again. There have been good years over the course of nearly four decades. There have been difficult and distressing moments as well. There have been years of promise and great strides. The cord that has bound the times, the people, the mission and the institution together has been determination and conviction that educating our children and building family and community comprise the ultimate purpose of life. We find ourselves at this moment with the convergence of financial adversities, demographic change, changing political climate and aging leadership. This presents us with one of the greatest challenges in our brief history. The solutions do not include compromise, accommodation or abandonment of the work. It involves refinement and transition; that is, a different and more effective financial model, beginning transition to a younger leadership, relocation, and adjustment to the new political climate.
The last decade has seen political, social and economic developments that have been less than favorable to the development and maintenance of independent educational institutions. Education philosophies and curriculum that center on ethnic political, economic and cultural realities and continuity have been frowned upon, lampooned and illegalized. Over the last four decades many of our sister institutions have been unable to withstand the financial assaults of privatization (taxes, kwk…) and inflation, demographic change and political intrigue. Compromise, accommodation and closure have regrettably been frequent options chosen.
It’s spring again. As with each spring, the scale of the challenges before us are diminished somewhat by the brilliance of the first flowers, the sounds of birds and babies at play. The spring rains fill the streams, and the first leaves look as though each one has been hand polished. Our elm, maple and mulberry trees have the feel of majesty and the appearance of billowing green clouds. The mulberry and elms fill the air with pollen, and the maple entertains the children with “helicopter” like seedpods sailing through the air. As with children, the time when they were annoying sprigs on the fence line is vague and remote. They have matured and blossomed into marvels of nature very much like the hundreds of children who have passed through the school doors, played in the yard, clamored over the branches, and tugged at the leaves.
We have had our share of challenges and the eventual resolutions over the years. We are still standing and moving forward. We are grateful for the tremendous support of parents, grandparents and family friends that have bolstered the institution throughout the year. The level of productivity, patience and creativity displayed by the administrative and instructional staff throughout the year has been commendable. They are due a special note of gratitude for their gracious forbearance year after year in the face of the many and sustained financial challenges we have encountered. We offer the same expression of gratitude to large number of friends, family and supporters who have aided us over the last thirty-six years.
This year we are endeavoring to recognize a small but representative number of those persons who have made unsolicited but substantial and consistent contributions to our institution and our community’s welfare over the last few years.”
– Agyei Akoto, 2009-2010 Year in Review, NationHouse (2010)