Dear Stanbridge Community,
I am incredibly excited to announce our new Head of School, Julie Smith. It is difficult to find someone with the breadth and depth of experience Julie brings to the position. She has been a head of school for the past 20 years of her career, notably at only two different schools, most recently at Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School in Palo Alto. Her roots, however, are in the classroom as a teacher and learning specialist, drawing on her master’s degree in special education.
The Board and I are confident that Julie’s experience, passion, and integrity will bring calm and stability after our difficult year, while bearing focus on the mission of educating our students and supporting our teachers. Julie’s educational philosophy is completely aligned with Stanbridge’s individualized whole student approach and the school’s mission of serving our balanced and diverse community of learners. She is also committed to strengthening our staff, including creating a role focused on supporting our program and faculty.
I want to thank the Stanbridge community for your support and patience during this process. My fellow Search Committee members (John Barnett, Kim Kornmann, Mike VanderLey, Laura Winfrey, and Anna Zara) need to be especially applauded for agreeing to do this yet again, this time knowing full well the many difficulties the process entails. The lion’s share of gratitude, however, goes to our amazing faculty and staff, led by Acting Head Lauri Kober, for their unflagging commitment to educating our students academically and emotionally. Julie joins me in recognizing the dedication of our staff, and we are eager for her to join them.
Chair, Board of Trustees
Dear Stanbridge Community,
From my first visits to the campus it was evident that Stanbridge Academy is a safe and caring environment where each child is known and cared for by all adults in school. Seeing students engaging with their teachers, counselors, administrators and Board Members it was clear that they feel safe and supported by all. I am excited at the opportunity to be a part of this learning environment that so clearly tends to the needs of the whole child. Helping children to understand their strengths and challenges and how to utilize their strengths sets them up for successful lives beyond school. I am thrilled to join a school community where the students are at the center of their educational experience. I believe deeply that social-emotional wellbeing is a critical component to academic success for all students.
I look forward to guiding Stanbridge Academy through our initial accreditation with the California Association of Independent Schools, and to partner with the Board of Trustees in the development of the strategic plan. I understand the gem that Stanbridge Academy is in our community, the real difference it has made in the lives students and families, and I am honored to be a part of this next step in the school’s journey.