As the year comes to a close, City and Country School has two new administrative staff additions for the fall. The school has finished sorting through candidates to fill the jobs of Upper School Director and Middle School Director.
“It’s really something that’s been talked about since three years ago,” said Scott Moran, Head of School at C&C.
Alex Ragone was the previous US/MS Director but left at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. Since it was too late in the year to scout for his replacement, Gee Roldan, previously a Xs teacher, and Michele Bloom, previously a Learning Specialist, offer
ed to step in and share the responsibilities of the job. Michele was the Director of the Middle/Upper School and Gee was the Associate Director during the first year. The following year, Gee was put in charge of Specials and Integration Programs while Michele remained in her interim role as the Director of the Middle/Upper School.
“All those models didn’t quite seem like they did what we wanted them to do, so we have been seriously talking again for about a year and really intensely for this fall,” said Scott about the decision to find someone new for the jobs. There was an in-house committee that took charge in the search for candidates that consisted of Scott, two Upper School teachers, two Middle School teachers, and three Specials teachers.
“We hired a search committee that helps to basically find the most qualified candidates from all over the country and they do initial interviews and they check for references. And then they figure out who are the ten best-qualified candidates,” said Scott about the process of finding potential candidates for the positions. Afterward, the committee decided who they wanted to come in for interviews and teach a demo lesson.
For the Upper School, the candidates discussed current events with the XIIIs and for Middle School, they did something with the VIIIs or IXs. Through this process, the search committee was able to see how each candidate interacted with children because one of the main responsibilities as the director of either division is to build relationships with students and parents.
“We looked at all of the models we’ve tried and other models that other schools have and talked about that for hours and hours and eventually came to the conclusion that what we actually wanted to do was split [the job] by Middle School and Upper School,” said Scott.
Scott added, “The main idea is that we want whoever the administrator is to have a full picture of the life of each kid in that division.” Instead of having one person in charge of group teachers and another person in charge of Specials teachers, we wanted one person to deal with all the teachers any particular student might have. One director doesn’t have time to manage all the group teachers and all the Specials teachers with “as many kids as are now in the Middle and Upper School all together.” But two Directors can manage all those students and teachers.
An email was sent out to parents last week with the names of the new Middle School and Upper School Directors and information about their professional backgrounds.
In the Middle School, Ayesha Long will be the new director. She currently works at Dalton as the K-12 Diversity Coordinator.
For the Upper School, the new director is Karen Brandt. who currently works at Packer Collegiate as the Head of the Health and Education Department.
As for Gee and Michele, they will return to their previous positions. In the fall, Gee will teach the Xs and the current Xs Group Teacher, Megan Holland will return to her previous post as a IXs Group Teacher. Michele will return to her position as a learning specialist.
With the new additions, C&C will also be saying goodbye to Jay Birdwell, the current IXs Group Teacher, who is retiring.
Even though we will be saying goodbye to a beloved teacher, many are excited about the new additions to the community.