Updated! Check out a message from our new Head of School:
Dear Academy Families and Friends,
On behalf the board of trustees, it is with great pleasure that I introduce Dr. Brian Bloomfield as The Academy’s permanent head of school, effective July 1, 2014.
Our search attracted over 75 applicants, and three exceptional individuals were brought to campus for final interviews. I was inspired by the involvement of current parents, parents of alums, community members, faculty, staff, and trustees during these visits. And I am extremely grateful for the skill and hard work of the search committee. Please join me in thanking them for leading such a thorough, transparent, and participatory process.
Brian is currently serving as the head of school and chief academic and financial advisor for Nova Classical Academy, a K-12 public charter school in St. Paul, MN. Prior to this role, he was a teacher and administrator at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD. Brian received his B.A. from Oberlin College, and both his M.A. in English and PhD in Education, with a specialty in Organizational Leadership, at the University of Maryland. The board is inspired by Brian — his intellectual depth, his calm and sure presence as an educator, his immediate understanding of the school, his commitment to classical education, and his great rapport with the students.
A Message to the Community from Dr. Brian Bloomfield
I was drawn to The Academy immediately because of its clear emphasis on personal expression paired with classical values. The opportunity to continue working in the classical tradition—especially in a context of educating and valuing the whole child—was just about irresistible.
Learning liberally and from the greatest voices in the western canon promises not only personal liberty from the bonds of ignorance, but a strong sense of responsibility for individuals to participate in and improve their community. This ideal—which happens to be The Academy’s
mission—greatly moved me. This was a school I wanted to see.
All of this was still an abstraction until I visited the school in December. Once I stepped foot onto campus, I was in love, and mostly because everyone I met was so excited about The Academy. In my meeting with students, they spoke enthusiastically about Academy rituals like morning meeting and yearly trips. They expressed appreciation for the feeling of belonging that the Academy community provides. My time with the faculty was filled with meaningful dialogue but also a good deal of laughter. Their collegiality and dedication to the school’s ideals and a feeling of teamwork was striking. During the town hall meeting, parents asked me tough questions that showed just how passionately committed they are to The Academy’s future. The Board posed serious and thoughtful questions, united in the belief that the school must have a kindred spirit to move forward that which began at the school’s founding. They made it clear that they were seeking someone to shepherd their vision. And as if that weren’t enough, I also had more fun than I would have thought possible during an interview. Somehow The Academy felt familiar to me and I found myself wanting to be part of a place that inspired the incredible school spirit which everyone exuded.
I am honored to be invited to help lead the Academy. I look forward to learning more about the school, its people and its traditions: all those elements which make it so unique and so valued. My task, in partnership with you all, is to foster and grow these wonderful strengths and build an assured and robust future for the school. I am thrilled to become a member of the Academy family, lead this wonderful community, and love it as much as everyone who is already a part of it.
Dave Chalfant will lead a committee of faculty, students, and parents to provide practical and logistical support for Brian and his wife, Jill. The committee will focus on school and community culture, organize welcome events, and will give Brian a background on significant Academy traditions, events, and activities.
Nell Todd and Brian will be in regular contact over the next several months. Brian hopes to come to campus three times between now and July for in-person meetings. Nell’s focus will be to make sure Brian is fully prepared to take over the operations of the school by July 1st. Nell will continue her work on many of the longer-term planning efforts the board has asked her to do.
Cornelia Reid, the chair of the board’s governance committee, will be responsible for integrating Brian into the board.
We stand at the beginning of a significant new chapter in The Academy’s history. I am grateful to all for your spirit of warmth and dedication as we welcome Brian and Jill into our community.
Please contact me directly with any questions.
David Epstein ‘87
Chair, Board of Trustees