Dear ESD Families and Friends,
The 2014-2015 school year reflected ESD’s determination to provide a sustainable future for the school. Through the coordinated efforts of Conner Searcy, Finance Committee Chair, Allen Custard, Advancement Committee Chair, Nita Clark and Suzanne McGee, Co-Chairs of the Comprehensive Campaign, Larry Good, Chair of the Campus Planning, Building and Grounds Committee, and the school’s leadership team, there were significant improvements to the balance sheet despite the fifth consecutive year of sub-3% tuition increases.
Since 2010, total debt at the school has declined from $27 million to less than $13 million. Cash on hand at the beginning of the school year has increased from $11 million to almost $17 million during that same time frame. In July 2014, the School refinanced its existing debt with a long-term fixed-rate loan that substantially reduced annual payments. As we enter a new phase of the ESD Tomorrow Long Range Strategic Plan, focused on raising funds to dramatically increasing the School’s permanent endowment, constructing a new Lower School on the Merrell Road Campus, and a new integrated sciences facility for Middle and Upper School students, these trends should continue. Special distributions from the endowment in 2014 played an important role in achieving these results.
The School’s new budgeting process, in place for four years, has improved the accuracy of our forecasts and is centered upon the administration of good cost controls. The Finance Committee provides a thorough review of the operating results of the school throughout each year. Their familiarity with ESD’s finances, as well as their exemplary backgrounds and experiences, provide for a robust oversight process.
We are mindfully investing in our most valuable asset: our faculty and staff. In conjunction with our strategic plan, professional development allocation has doubled since 2011-12 to support opportunities that directly impact and bolster ESD students and programs.
ESD has also increased its attention to capital expenditures over the past several years, resulting in cash reserves for the first time in the School’s history. Although these reserves are far from where we would like them to be in the long run, we are making great strides while avoiding deferred maintenance issues.
Thanks to the steadfast efforts of the Board of Directors, Endowment Trust, administration, faculty and staff, and donors, The Episcopal School of Dallas is very strong financially, with a solid balance sheet, well-managed endowment, and excellent operating results. Upon this bedrock of sustainability and fiscal responsibility, ESD will continue to achieve its Mission: to prepare young men and women for lives of intellectual discovery, integrity, and purpose.
Robert A. Buchholz
2014-15 ENDOWMENT TRUST
Cullum Clark, Chair
2014-15 FINANCE COMMITTEE
Conner Searcy, Chair
Allen Custard, ex officio,
Suzanne McGee, ex officio,
Zach Wooldridge '92