By Brian Corley, Head of School
I’m Brian Corley, Head of School here at Near North. It is my privilege to welcome you to the school year.
Not only am I Head of School, but I am also a parent at Near North. I have three wonderful children, two of whom will be in school this fall.
I am so excited to welcome all our parents, teachers, and staff back to the school year – but I’m especially excited to welcome Hannah Richardson, our new Associate Head of School. Hannah joins our Executive Leadership team, which includes Robert Hart, our Operations and Finance Director, and me. She will also be a Near North parent this year with a child in our Elementary program.
Now all of our parents will have already heard from Hannah and our coaches about our new model for the levels and the work to align Near North so that we feel more like a single school.
This charge for Hannah is the culmination of listening to parents, teachers, and staff and a great deal of collaborative planning throughout the 21-22 school year. During my first year as Head of School, I learned about the coaching model and the exciting possibilities that were just out of reach due to structure and capacity here at the school. As we searched for a capable Assistant Head of School, Hannah, an expert in the coaching model in Montessori contexts, rose to the surface as the perfect fit to sustain these changes – in a way that maintains the integrity of our classrooms and our Montessori commitments.
The work of school persisted over the summer and continues into the fall as we engage with our strategic plan, which is guided by four pillars:
- DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)
- Elevate and Evolve Near North Montessori School (Academics and Curriculum)
- Diversified Financial Sustainability
- Community Engagement (Parent/School and Community/School Partnership)
So as Hannah focuses her efforts, expertise, and passion on the academic and curricular work, this allows me to engage in other pillars while still providing overall leadership on our academic program. That means partnering on work with key leaders in our school, including teachers, administrators, and many of you who are reading this right now. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself meeting with me soon.
Friends, I am so excited about the work ahead. Standing on the foundation of our culture of care, we are stepping out together as a community of practice.
Now, as we work together towards our collective strengths and common goals, we commit to asking ourselves and each other this core question in the practice of Montessori: “What is best for the child?” Parents and educators – this is the question and work that unites us and welcomes us all into the 22-23 school year.