Memo from the Board: Leadership Changes at Steamboat Montessori

Dear Steamboat Montessori community, 

On behalf of the school’s Board of Directors, I am reaching out to communicate exciting changes at Steamboat Montessori. As your Board, our purpose is to provide guidance and support for an enriching Montessori learning environment, in which all our children are able to reach their individual potential. Our duty is to ensure that our school is best equipped, financially and operationally, to meet the needs of a growing community both now and into the future. 

With the announcement of Michael’s departure, we recognize an opportunity for renewal, and the solidifying of our mission and vision, as we look to the future. We appreciate the thoughtful consideration we have come to know from our Head of School, and we are in agreement that now is an opportune time to bring on new leadership at Steamboat Montessori. We will vote to accept his resignation at our upcoming Board meeting on December 15th. Michael will remain with the school through the 2021/2022 academic year, as we begin our search in earnest for his replacement.

Over the coming months, we will work with Michael to ensure full operational stability at Steamboat Montessori, making a particular effort to draw upon the passion, talent, and vision of our amazing teachers as we embrace the changes and opportunity to come. Our teachers are the heart of the school; our future success is rooted in the culture and community they create for our students. We have full confidence that these incredible educators will continue to guide and lead with grace and skill, both in the classroom and outside of it, during this time of transition. Our top priority is continuing to provide an exceptional educational environment for our children.

In the coming weeks, the Board of Directors will form a search committee for a new Head of School. Committee composition, along with job search goals, job description, deadlines for applications, requirements for applicants, selection procedures, and the time frame for appointing a new Head of School, will be determined by the search committee. It is the hope and intention of the Board to identify, select and hire this person before the end of the coming spring term. 

Now six years into our school’s existence, we are at a rather exciting juncture. After two continuous years of accreditation as a school of distinction, we have a lot of momentum to propel us as we embark on a number of big endeavors ahead. We have never been at a more stable financial and academic place to build upon this momentum. The timing is fortuitous for us to begin our search for new leadership to take us into this new era, and we take on this responsibility with open hearts, renewed energy and committed purpose. 

Like so many institutions, we find ourselves in a dramatically altered landscape that would have been hard to imagine a mere two years ago. Perhaps now more than ever, the critical importance of fanning the flame of intrinsic intellectual curiosity in our youth is front and center, as we face challenges both novel and very old, in a rapidly evolving world. We see daily that the development of grace and courtesy in our children is essential, not optional. We recognize that the expectations held for our schools–so that future generations are ready to participate in society in a meaningful way–are shifting under our very feet. In short, we feel that there has never been a time where public access to Montessori education was more important. 

On behalf of the rest of our Board of Directors, I want to thank you in advance for your continued support as we look ahead to this next chapter. We will hold a special Board meeting on January 14, 2022 from 12:30 to 2:00pm, in order to vote on the formation of our HOS search committee, which will include members of our faculty, our Board, and our parent community. Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions, or wish to participate. We hope to have robust attendance at this meeting, which will be held virtually (invitation to follow).

Again, we extend our gratitude and thanks to Michael for his leadership over the past four years, and wish him the very best. As we reflect on all that our school has accomplished, and the exciting road that is to come, we are honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve this community. 

Jessica Valand, Chair

Steamboat Montessori Board of Directors

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