New Head of School

March 24, 2021

Dear Near North Community,

I am pleased to announce that Brian Corley has accepted our invitation to lead Near North as our next Head of School effective July 1, 2021. Brian will succeed Audrey Perrott, who has conscientiously and selflessly led our community for the last 13 years. Audrey and the Board will provide critical support and partnership during the 2021-22 school year, ensuring a smooth transition for Brian, his family, and our entire community.

Brian returns to Near North after years as a Middle School Director at The Roeper School in Birmingham, Michigan. He began his educational career at our school, where he first fell in love with the philosophy and pedagogy of Montessori and the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion work. As an Assistant Teacher, he grew a passion for recognizing children as full human beings who deserve to be respected and heard. As Near North’s Diversity Director, he trained 175 teachers and community leaders as a National SEED Project facilitator and served on the Equity and Justice Committee for ISACS (Independent Schools Association of the Central States), where he is now a member of the board of trustees.

Brian Corley

Brian Corley will lead Near North as the next Head of School effective July 1, 2021. Brian succeeds Audrey Perrott, who has led the school for the last 13 years.

"Brian spoke of his desire to plant roots and raise his family in a community that has been so formative in his own life."

In his letter to the Search Committee, Brian spoke of his desire to plant roots and raise his family in a community that has been so formative in his own life. Brian and his wife are excited for their two young children to attend Near North, where they will be equipped as change agents who can affect the world in a loving and just manner.

The selection of a Head of School is one of the greatest responsibilities of trusteeship, and is especially exciting during the first year of a new strategic plan. All of us in the Near North community can be proud that the scope of the search, initiated in December in response to the announcement of Audrey’s retirement in October, was extensive, and the qualities of the interested candidates outstanding. 

The Search Committee, chaired by NNM parents Lee Clark and Shawn Michael, including other current parents as well as Near North faculty and staff members April Jean-Baptiste, Molly Miner, and Kandyce Woods, worked diligently with the support of the search firm, Educators’ Collaborative, to review and vet those outstanding candidates.

I am thankful for our community’s active engagement throughout this entire process. The thoughtful feedback about the candidates from current and past parents, faculty, trustees, students, and alumni has reaffirmed just how deeply I know we all care about the future of Montessori, peace education, and NNM.

We look to the future of Near North Montessori under Brian Corley’s leadership with profound optimism and excitement - confident he will diligently and passionately lead our community through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the coming years.


Gary Cloudman
NNM Board President