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Annual Report

Our 2021/2022 school year was a demonstration of our Kehilah at its best. Fresh on the heels of one of

the most tiresome and challenging years in our history, we reimagined school, we discovered unique ways to reunite and reconnect, and we celebrated 30 years of The McGillis School.


Against the backdrop of the ongoing global pandemic, we honored resilience over adversity and celebrated the achievements of the first three decades of history as a school in Salt Lake City by gathering as a community for three creative and amazing events. In November, we hosted a unique 30th Anniversary Storytelling Event that brought our values to life during a magical evening. Six storytellers, inclusive of students, a teacher, two parents, and a former trustee, shared stories about community, resilience, belonging, lifelong learning, giving to others, and respect. In May, we launched TREEkun Olam, a day of service that involved 550 people! Students, teachers, staff, parents, and friends of McGillis planted 41 trees at Jefferson Park in the Ballpark District, demonstrating our commitment to repairing our world and being caretakers of our planet. And on the evening of June 2, over 500 members of our Kehilah came together at Red Butte Garden for our 30th Anniversary Concert headlined by singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, in support of our Tuition Assistance and Scholarship Program.


These events reminded us of how sweet it is to gather together to laugh, to cry, to celebrate. Throughout the year, the McGillis community, both past and present, united in wonderful ways, masks and all, to experience being together again.


Sadly, on December 21, 2021, our school’s namesake, Joanne McGillis, passed away peacefully at the age of 89. What a poignant moment for our school, to say goodbye to our beloved benefactor as we celebrated an anniversary that she made possible. Joanne could not have been more proud of what McGillis has become. We have a world in need of repair, and McGillis has cultivated humans who care about their planet, about diversity and belonging, about others. We aim to make a difference. Joanne did the same over her lifetime, and was a deep inspiration and influence on how the School evolved as it established itself during the last 30 years.


Now at the beginning of our fourth decade, McGillis is taking flight. We are entering a new era for the School, where we can demonstrate our passion for innovative teaching and learning and for growth towards inclusion and belonging. We are excited to think about and take action towards our future with you.


In our sights is a Campus Master Plan that will consider the needs of our learners today and tomorrow. We aim to create additional spaces for innovative and collaborative learning, improve our outdoor play and learning spaces, and facilitate the growth of our newest division, The Learning Center, serving students with language-based learning differences. Our dreams are big and our ambitions are high. We are inspired by our predecessors who helped make McGillis into the School we know today. It's not only a physical space; it's also a safe, welcoming home away from home. It's a place that supports one of the finest communities we have ever known.


Thanks to all who have shaped and continue to shape our wonderful McGillis School. We hope the stories here provide you with a sense of pride for who we are, what we stand for, what we’ve become, and where we’re heading next.


With appreciation,


Jim Brewer

Head of School

Parent of Finn '21 & Lucy '23



Ellen Rossi


Parent of Aksel '24 & Kai '28

Every gift makes a difference! 


We give to support the incredible staff and unique programs. We give to help put McGillis within reach for more families. We give to ensure McGillis thrives long after our children graduate. Thank you McGillis.

Amanda and Ryan Krejci, parents of Ronan ’26 and Dax ‘29

View past issues of our Annual Report