Welcome New Board Co-Chairs

This fall we said goodbye (with giant heaps of gratitude!) to our former board chair, Frank Mitchell. He has been a wonderful leader for us and for our larger community.

We are thrilled to welcome our new co-chairs, Robert Parker and Wendy Battles.


A note from Wendy Battles

Wendy BattlesDear Common Ground Community,

I am pleased and excited to take on this new role on the Common Ground board, alongside Bob Parker, and find new ways to be of service to our wonderful community. What I know for sure is that we have some big shoes to fill! Many have come before us to create the vision, lay the groundwork and forward our mission. The fruits of this collective effort are evident in how we have grown by leaps and bounds since I’ve joined the board, our vibrant community expanding every year in its role as school, farm and environmental center.

I’ve loved watching our growth, how we have found creative and impactful ways to develop our leadership muscle, expertise and commitment to making New Haven a place where all can flourish and succeed – and this all from our cozy, yet dynamic corner of New Haven. While we may have a small footprint we surely have an abundance of heart and soul, and we embody the qualities that make New Haven shine.

It’s just that passion, caring and concern for this place we all love that Bob and I hope serve as a foundation for continued growth in coming years. Our new building and renovated space are a great metaphor for new possibilities, perspectives and adventures.

Thank you for entrusting us with the next steps in our development as a school and organization. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in this role and work on behalf of all of you in the coming year.

A note from Robert Parker

Bob ParkerHow do I feel about my new role as Co-Chair of the Common Ground Board of Directors?

Nervous. Excited. Apprehensive. Committed. Delighted. And Thankful… for the amazing work that my predecessors have done over the past 20 years building and nurturing the supportive, productive, loving community that is Common Ground. I must give a special thank you to Frank Mitchell for his guiding hand over many years in shepherding the organization, and for inviting me into the work. And thanks, also, to Wendy Battles for joining me in this endeavor as my Co-Chair.

The excitement comes from the opportunity to become even more engaged with Common Ground. I have known and admired the High School since its creation, and only in the last few years have I learned about the amazing number of our community programs and the work of the farm. I’m delighted that Common Ground is a part of the lives of so many students and families, and works so hard with other schools and organizations in Greater New Haven to make a positive impact on our community. The apprehension comes from realizing the responsibility that Wendy and I, along with the Board, the staff, and all of our constituents have in ensuring the continued support for the programs, the teachers, and, indeed, the ground that nourish so many.

And I want to express my firm commitment to the values Common Ground lives every day, expressed so well in Executive Director Melissa Spear’s recent post on our website. If you have not read it, please do.

 Now join me in the joy! of Common Ground.



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