An Update From Our Board

By Brian McElwee, Board Chairman


Dear Friend of IMS,

As we head into planning and preparation for the upcoming school year, I wanted to share some recent accomplishments, as well as exciting news for our future. The 2017-18 year was a remarkable one, highlighted by your collective generosity and support, without which our team could not have accomplished so many significant milestones. Let me touch on each briefly and then fast-forward to the year ahead.


This year’s graduating 8th grade class secured a record level of scholarship dollars to advance their education. In addition, our nearly 5,000 students across 15 schools continue to benefit from network investment and direction in academic programs and teacher development. Since our start, IMS has focused on Literacy, participating in the city’s Read by 4th effort, working with partners to lift the Literacy levels of our students. This year, we expanded our focus with a network-wide investment in Math curriculum and instruction. Building upon the successes we’ve seen in three of our schools, we will roll out professional development and teacher coaching for math instruction across the network. Finally, we are proud to share that among our 8th grade graduates this year, nearly 80% will matriculate to selective high schools increasing their likelihood of successful completion. Another 18% will continue on to many of our area’s most highly selective independent schools.


IMS has taken great leaps forward, with new senior leadership roles added in Operations and Academics: Mamie Doyle Mannella, Chief Operating Officer and Greg Vincent, Chief Academic Officer. Mamie joined IMS in July 2017, overseeing all operations of the central management office which supports our schools. Mamie has an impressive resume of educational impact. Greg also joined in 2017, responsible for the leadership of our school principals and the optimization of our academic and program investments.

Rick Auletta, our President, has made many significant contributions to our organization this year and we are grateful for his leadership. Recently, Rick did inform us of his desire to return to the private sector from which he joined us to continue his career. He is committed to a smooth transition and we are confident that our organization, strengthened by the management additions made this past year, will continue to succeed during this transition. We have started our search for Rick’s successor and will share more on that in the coming weeks.


A $1 million gift is significantly strengthening our IMS endowment, and has secured a $500,000 match through our partnership with BLOCS. This year, we also built out infrastructure to enable growing support through the PA state tax credit programs, EITC and OSTC. This, in addition to the generous gifts to our endowment, is already setting our 2018-19 academic year off to a strong start. As an independent school network, the tax credit programs and our ongoing philanthropic engagement are vital drivers, enabling enhanced support for our worthy students across the city of Philadelphia.


As you can see, we have much positive momentum to celebrate as we look to our continued work, delivering this new model for Catholic education. Your generosity of time and talent, and your advocacy of our IMS mission are the essential elements to positive impact. We thank you for your support of IMS, both past and future, and look forward to sharing the results of our continued efforts. Please contact us with your feedback and ideas, as we embark on this, our 6th year of operation, for the Independence Mission Schools.


Brian McElwee
Board Chairman