Mr. DeMarino: Part Two

Cassidy Polga, Editor-in-Chief

The Magnet recently sat down with MMI Holdings CEO Chris DeMarino to discuss plans for the future. DeMarino has attended all of the Advisory Board meetings in the past year, and he said that the insights he has heard there have provided valuable advice about how to be transparent with the student body as the owner of the school.

The long-standing goal of establishing MacDuffie sister schools in China has solidified into an aim to create two programs in 2017. There is also the possibility of a pilot program opening this fall. Although it will not be a requirement, current faculty members would be welcome to transfer and teach overseas. DeMarino stressed that “any expansion in China will not impact operations here.” As a “model of great private American education,” MacDuffie would provide a structural example and would build a human resources function in order to be involved in hiring Massachusetts area teachers to work in China.

The still-embryonic Mandarin program will also receive an expansion. Next year’s seventh graders, who are currently taking the sixth grade Mandarin class, will be required to take the course, and will hopefully comprise the base of the program. An increase in the budget has been made to gradually add more Mandarin teachers and a program coordinator, as well as a potential summer class which would allow students to devote more concentration to the subject. DeMarino said that the three current languages offered, French, Spanish, and Latin, will not be affected by these developments.

Also, the planned arts complex is still beholden to the success of first figuring out the logistics of our sewer system, but ground will probably be broken in the fall of next year.

In more immediate news, Cornell University will be holding a leadership conference on our campus this summer as part of our partnership, and all teachers will be attending a leadership seminar run by a Cornell professor in early June. These initiatives are part of a larger goal, which DeMarino says has been spearheaded by Head of School Steve Griffin, to place an emphasis on leadership development throughout the community.

DeMarino said he will continue to focus on being as transparent as possible and “letting the student body know that ownership is there.”