Supporting Faculty Salaries and Benefits ($6.5 million)
Endowed Chairs and General Salary Support ($4 Million)
St. Albans celebrates great teaching and great teachers: look no further than the roster of endowed chair holders inscribed in gold leaf on the walls of the Cafritz Refectory and the faculty “Wall of Fame” that greets every visitor to the Lower School.
While endowed chairs do provide public recognition for superb teachers, they are far more than a tribute: they help us to maintain all faculty salaries at a level higher than our peer schools (and in the top ten percent nationally), and they provide substantial support for the entire school budget (in doing so, these funds directly support a critical goal by helping St. Albans moderate the rate by which we raise tuition). An endowed chair also reinforces the school’s deep commitment to any cited department by bolstering its operating budget.
By raising funds to endow new chairs, we continue this splendid tradition of celebrating and supporting our faculty.
The endowed chairs listed on the refectory walls include chairs for the headmaster, the head of the Upper School, classics, chaplaincy and religious studies, English, history, mathematics, science, Lower School studies, and excellence in teaching. Each chair is named by the donor, often to commemorate a family or faculty member.
By adding to this list, St. Albans will continue to recognize and reward its most outstanding teachers, while maintaining salaries at a level that ensures we can continue to recruit, retain, and support the highest caliber faculty.
Faculty Benefits Fund ($2.5 Million)
The Washington, D.C., area is a vibrant, beautiful—and expensive—place to live and work. To attract and retain teachers, we offer not only highly competitive salaries, but also a benefits package that we hope to strengthen through new endowment. When surveyed, our faculty and staff identified assistance with health insurance as generally the single most important benefit. That same survey identified housing, tuition remission, and day care as significant needs. We hope through the STRIVE Campaign to create a new Faculty Benefits Fund that will allow us to nurture existing programs and explore new options to support our faculty and staff and their families.
St. Albans currently pays 50 percent of the medical insurance premiums for employees, and 0 percent of dental or vision premiums. In 2016-17, the school successfully negotiated lower premium plans for employees. This was good news, but we’d like to raise endowment to allow the school to contribute more to each employee’s health insurance premiums.
In the 1970s, approximately 70 percent of the St. Albans faculty lived at the school or within walking distance. Today, only 35 percent live nearby, primarily because of the rising cost of housing in adjacent neighborhoods. The prospect of long commutes and the high cost of living in Northwest D.C. make it increasingly difficult for the school to retain and recruit superlative teachers. To address this challenge, and to foster the spirit of community created by teachers living nearby, St. Albans owns five homes near the campus for the headmaster and senior faculty members. And, thanks to gifts made during the Centennial Campaign, the school provides two annual mortgage subsidies—$50,000 grants that faculty may use toward a down payment and five years of mortgage payments. The mortgage subsidy programs has been instrumental in helping St. Albans retain some of its best teachers. However, the demand for the subsidies always exceeds the two we have; thus one STRIVE Campaign goal is to raise new endowment that will allow us offer additional grants.
We currently offer scholarships that cover almost 95 percent of the tuition for faculty and staff sons accepted to St. Albans, and, thanks to a gift from a St. Albans parent, full scholarships to two faculty daughters attending National Cathedral School. These scholarships provide our entire community with the side benefit of faculty who are fully immersed in our community, on both sides of the Close, as parents and teachers. We would like to expand this program and explore additional opportunities for more of our faculty and their children.
Daycare averages more than $22,000 a year in Washington, D.C.—a significant portion of a young teacher’s salary—but unlike some of our peer schools, we do not provide or subsidize care for young children. Through increased endowment, we could help alleviate this burden—and help us retain these teachers in the face of tough financial pressure.