Michael Barrist

To many on campus, Mike Barrist is known as the father of Julia ’21 and Kenneth ’19 and graduate Karah ’14. While Mike would share that this is his most important role, he wears many additional hats in our community and we are grateful to him when he dons each and every one.
 
If you or your child is involved with Players, you have Mike to thank for building the stage set and or teaching any would-be builder students how to do the same. Luckily for the Players group, his children are talented thespians and singers and have played important parts in the fall musicals or spring dramas. Not one performance is concluded without a heartfelt thanks for his craftsmanship or care of all aspects of this creative community that creates magic out of nothing, time and time again down at the Rec.
 
Mike also applies his engineering mind to helping everything robotics. Whether it is tracking down an invaluable part needed for the latest robotics challenge, judging a competition, or encouraging the team, he is there for our award-winning team members.
 
Where else might you find Mike lending a helping hand? Most likely, with the delightful Girls Middle School “Musical Mundi” steel drum band. He helps set up and break down the instruments for many performances, and he helps to transport the instruments to events off campus as well. Thanks to him, our students and their instruments arrive on time and safely to each performance.
 
What about Mike behind the scenes? Very few know about his unwavering philanthropic support. In Karah’s early years, Mike and his wife Natalie, were leadership donors to the Annual Fund. As they became further involved in the school, they then supported the Campaign for Springside School with a significant gift in support of the new Middle and Upper School wing. They led by example and other donors followed their lead!
 
Now, as a dedicated SCH trustee, Mike has continued to give generously for the past 13 years. Not only does he give generously, he is incredibly persuasive in encouraging others to join him. Why? Because Mike leads with his enthusiasm. With co-chair Ellin Dixon Miller ’75, Mike was an early advocate of the fundraising efforts in support of the Campus Master Plan. Phase I of the plan was Common Ground, the most significant landscape and environmental renewal effort of our 150-year history. Now completed, this work provides the best possible facilities for our athletes and honors our connection to the Wissahickon. 
 
As you would expect, Mike, along with co-chair Ellin, is moving on to raise funds for SCH Academy’s next priority outlined in the master plan, a new Lower School and renovations to the Cherokee Campus. He is leading this effort with the same passion and desire for our school to be the best for our students, faculty, and community.

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