Dear Gilman Community,
In October, I announced the retirement at the end of this school year of Johnnie Foreman, our longtime Director of Community, Inclusion, and Equity (CIE). In that letter, I explained that our search for a new director was already underway, with an eye toward naming the new person by spring break of this year. Spring break has clearly come and gone and, while we have interviewed some strong candidates, we have not yet found the right person for the job. Recognizing the importance of supporting our CIE efforts while the search continues, we are taking the following steps:
Joe Valentine-White, Assistant Director of Community, Inclusion, and Equity, will serve as interim director during the next school year.
Tangie Mason, Administrative Assistant for the CIE Office, will continue to support the office and all of its efforts.
A number of teachers in each division have been working closely with Johnnie for several years as part of his CIE Executive Committee, and we plan to name them CIE Division Coordinators, titles that these teachers will hold in addition to their regular teaching positions. These new roles, which are permanent and have been recommended as part of our commitment to CIE regardless of the search timeline, help to formalize a stronger structure for our CIE work, particularly as it pertains to faculty professional development and student programing. We will share those teachers’ names as we start the new school year.
Peter Kwiterovich, Assistant Head of School, and Shonique Alexander, Assistant Head of School for PreK-8, will lend their support to the CIE office next year. Both have already been working closely with Johnnie and team.
Finally, and while I will certainly respect his retirement, Johnnie reminds me that he is a call away, and he will serve in a consulting role next year.
Working with the search advisory committee and others, I will continue to identify and interview candidates, now with an eye on a start date of July 1, 2023. While I had certainly hoped to name Johnnie’s successor by spring break, I firmly believe — and the advisory committee agrees — that the top priority is finding the best person for this important role, even if it means extending the timeline. I remain excited about this search and where it will ultimately take us as a school.
These steps will allow us to continue our search for a new director as thoughtfully as possible while supporting the ongoing efforts and operation of the CIE Office. When there is more news to share, I will certainly do so. In the meantime, I wish everyone a successful close to the school year.
Henry P. A. Smyth
In Tuo Lumine Lumen