Kristin Butterfield Vickery ’88 and Stuart Vickery P ’18, ’22 to Become White Key Co-chairs

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Kristin Butterfield Vickery ’88, Cate Vickery ’22, and Stuart Vickery

Mercersburg welcomes Kristin Butterfield Vickery ’88 and Stuart Vickery as the new co-chairs of White Key, taking over for Brendan and Katie Fitzsimmons P ’17, ’20 as they transition off at the end of this school year. As the parents of Thomas ’18 and Cate ’22, Kristin and Stuart have been involved in numerous activities connected to Mercersburg and White Key, including hosting and attending admission events, serving as team parents, and volunteering for the Annual Fund. Kristin is a member of the Alumni Council, and they both serve on the White Key Executive Council. Recently, Kristin and Stuart sat down with Parent News to share more as they take on this new role.

Q: What are your goals for White Key as you become co-chairs?  

A: Our main goal is to let parents know that we are here to serve as a resource for questions, concerns, and assistance, but also as a way for parents to become involved in the Mercersburg community. If your child goes here but you are not an alum or don’t have another connection to the school, you might not know how to get involved, how to be a volunteer at your kids’ activities, or how to help with admissions. You might not feel comfortable approaching a teacher or staff member about a question or concern you have. We can serve as the connection if that’s what you desire; we can point you in the right direction or share a story about how we have been in a similar situation. 

Q: What do you want parents new to Mercersburg or to White Key to know? 

A: We want to spread the word about the parent organization and let everyone know their involvement is welcomed and encouraged. We also want to make sure that parents understand that White Key is not an all-or-nothing endeavor. Not everyone can give a lot of time, nor does everyone want to. We want to provide an outlet for those who want to get involved to do so in whatever capacity they can. If you want to volunteer, we've got something for you to do! And, we want to be here as a resource for ALL parents, because we were once in the position of wondering, “Who the heck do I ask about this?”

Q: Kristin, how do you think your time as a student influences the way you approach your work with White Key as a parent? 

A: When I was a student in the ’80s, there was no parent organization. Parents were on campus very infrequently. My parents lived in Alabama, and they came to campus the day they dropped me off, and they came back for graduation (I flew back and forth for vacations and intervening move-in days). My mom had no connection to the school, didn’t know what was going on, and didn’t know how to support me—other than the weekly phone call I made. Getting on the one pay phone per floor of 30 girls in Tippetts—our dorm back then—was tricky! She would have so appreciated an organization that helped make her feel connected.

Despite her distance, my mom would have loved to help with admissions outreach or would have appreciated being introduced to and connected with other parents. That’s a big motivation for me: making sure that no parents, wherever they live, feel isolated or disconnected from Mercersburg. 

Q: What’s something you definitely want parents to know as you take on this new role?  

A: As an introvert, I (Kristin), have at times struggled to step up to people to introduce myself; this new role allows me to grab my introversion by the horns and speak to everyone. I know so many others might feel this way too; please know that my first and only priority is making ALL families feel welcome and included. Families are at the heart of Mercersburg’s community.   

Stuart and I are both military brats; he went to public schools all his life and never really knew or considered private schools, let alone boarding schools, as an option for his kids until our son began to express an interest. Stuart now is “all in” and wants parents to know that you don’t have to be a Mercersburg alum, or even a boarding school alum, to be welcome here, to contribute your time, or to offer comments. We all bring different perspectives, and all are welcome.

Additionally, we really do welcome all comers; if you want to be a volunteer, or have interest in serving on the Executive Committee, or have an idea or suggestion, please let us know! This is YOUR organization. Your children might be attending, but you are their best advocates and biggest supporters. We’re here for you. Thank you for being a part of Mercersburg!

---------

To learn more about White Key or to get involved, contact whitekey@mercersburg.edu or visit this page of the parent portal. As Kristin and Stuart emphasize, “Your input, suggestions, and contributions are valued and welcome. We’re here to help ALL parents; please let us know how we can better do that!”