New Voices in Leadership: Keeping the Vision in Tough Times
Aug 14, 2012 - 05:00 PM
School leadership is challenging for even the most experienced principal, but the voices of those new to the role have much to offer us as we examine what it means to be an educational leader. Join Linda Nathan as she moderates a panel of new school leaders as they discuss the struggles, triumphs, and lessons learned by via their work in a system that often seems to forget to keep kids at the center of the conversation.
- Linda Nathan, Founding Headmaster, Boston Arts Academy (Moderator)
- Dania Vasquez, Founding principal, Margarita Muniz Academy, MA
- Danny Wilcox, Principal, Prospect Hill Charter School, MA
- Mirko Chardin, Principal, newly created Putnam Middle School in Cambridge, MA
- Anne Clark, Interim Headmaster, Boston Arts Academy
- Michael Lee, Assistant Principal, Alameda HS
Linda Nathan is the founding headmaster of the Boston Arts Academy (BAA), the city’s first and only public high school for the visual and performing arts. Dr. Nathan founded BAA in 1998 on the belief that arts and academics are equally important components of a child’s education. At BAA, the arts are integrated throughout the academic curriculum, motivating students with a variety of learning styles to succeed; over 94% of graduates go on to college each year.Under Dr. Nathan’s leadership, Boston Arts Academy has won state, national, and international recognition and awards. Most recently, these include a GRAMMY® Signature School award from the GRAMMY Foundation in 2011 and a 2010 National School of Distinction in Arts Education award from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts- an honor shared with just four other schools nationwide.
Anne R. Clark, Interim Headmaster of Boston Arts Academy, was the founding Academic Dean of BAA and in her fourteen years at the school has served as a Humanities teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, Special Education Coordinator, Director of Professional Development, and Associate Headmaster. A graduate of Harvard/Radcliffe College and a Mellon Foundation Fellow for the Humanities, she holds her Master's in English and American Literature and is A.B.D in secondary literary theory and instruction, both from the English and Composition Studies program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Ms. Clark was named a finalist for the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year in 2007 and received the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award in 2008.
Dania Vázquez is the headmaster for a newly created Innovation School in Boston, the Margarita Muñiz Academy, designed as a dual language high school. The Muñiz Academy is modeled after the work of the Rafael Hernández K-8 School in Boston. Dania has been an educator for over 31 years serving urban children and families. Prior to the work with the Muñiz Academy, Dania was the Associate Executive Director at the Center for Collaborative Education in Boston since 2001. Dania focused on a number of key initiatives including principal preparation, leadership development, curriculum development, and school governance. She also led whole school transformation efforts in Boston and throughout the state. In addition, she coordinated a range of services for the Boston Pilot Schools/ Horace Mann Network including leadership coaching, professional development, and project coordination as well as Pilot Network advocacy with the district and community.
Mirko Chardin has served as Academy Leader of the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School in Boston, MA and is currently Assistant Principal of the Multiple Pathways program at Randolph High School, in Randolph. He began his teaching career as a Grade 7 and 8 History Teacher at the Frederick Pilot Middle School, and was the Founder and Director of the New Hope Youth Coalition in Boston.
Michael Lee, a proud graduate of the Oakland Unified School District, earned an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Davis and his teaching credential from Mills College. Michael began his teaching career at Castlemont High School in Oakland. Two years later, as a teacher, he helped open a CES school, East Oakland School for the Arts (EOSA) on the Castlemont Campus. Highlights from Michael's teaching resume include a 24 point improvement over a two year period in his World History classes and numerous students, both African American and Hispanic males and females receiving passing scores on their Advanced Placement (AP) exams. After seven years of teaching, Michael enrolled in graduate school at Harvard's School Leadership Program (SLP) and was the Principal's Intern at the Boston Arts Academy. Currently, Michael is beginning his third year as the Assistant Principal of Alameda High School, an 1800 student comprehensive high school in Alameda, California.
Danny Wilcox hails from Berkeley, Ca., attended St. Mary’s College on a football scholarship and found his passion for education at the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers in 1999 at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. While studying at Tufts, Wilcox interned at The Boston Arts Academy. He was a founding teacher at Life Academy of Health and Bio-Science in Oakland, California, Discovery High School in The Bronx, NY and at Global Connections High School in SeaTac, Washington. He completed the Principal Residency Network program at Northeastern University, did his residency at BAA and stayed on as the Assistant Headmaster. Wilcox served as Principal of the United Federation of Teachers Charter School in Brooklyn, NY and Vice Principal of Student Support at Impact Academy HS in Hayward, California before becoming Principal of the Upper School at Prospect Hill Academy in Cambridge Massachusetts in 2012. Issues of equity and access have fueled his passion to educate disenfranchised students much like himself, and to promote positive opportunities for all students.