140 years ago, Chester Arthur was President, the Brooklyn Bridge was opened, Thomas Edison started a lighting company and there were 38 states. And it was then that Philadelphia teacher and special education pioneer, Margaret Bancroft, opened one of the first private schools in the country for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She believed that children with disabilities could learn when given individualized attention, patience and love – a radical and innovative approach for the time.
I am the ninth leader of this remarkable organization – a job I do not take lightly. But Bancroft was not built on the shoulders of its leaders; it was built by the thousands of men and women who dedicate their lives to helping people with disabilities and the families who trust us to care for their loved ones. It has grown thanks to the help of generous donors, board members and community leaders who believe in our mission. And it is sustained by our referrers, elected officials and visionary partners who know we can always do more to help people live their best lives.
Soon you will hear us talk more about the future of Bancroft and our plans for strategic growth, technology integration, transforming the employee experience, and inspiring clinical excellence – all in an effort to change lives. For now, I want to thank everyone who has been an integral part of the Bancroft journey. What started as a school for one student, has become a regional leader in the care for those with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities and neurological conditions.
The next 140 years are limited only by our imagination. I hope you will join us.