Over the last several years we built a great faculty and the results have shown in what our students learned and the joy and pride they had in coming to school here. That success was observed and affirmed by Great Hearts leaders, investors, and you who were willing to put your money into building our wonderful campus. With the move to Gilbert, I felt the need to rename the school in a way that represents the vision of what we could become as individuals and as a community. We translate the Greek word Arete to mean heroic excellence. It describes who we are or what we aspire to be. It describes what is important to us.
As Arete, we have continued to shine. Our outstanding teachers are recognized throughout Great Hearts. The work students have done here has been demonstrated on state, national, and international tests. The maturity, courage, and skill our students have shown in leading their own parent-teacher conferences has inspired another school to do the same. We have something special here. We have a place where teachers love to teach and care deeply about our students. We have a place where our students show a greater willingness every day to become the captains of their own ships. We have leaders here who know that creating a great school is not magic. They know that Arete is a result of very intentional action to find and support the best people to become teachers, and to create the best environment possible for learning.
I thought this would be the last job I would ever have. I have often said, I believe that I have found my purpose … to make this a great school. However, it seems, my scope and horizon have changed. Because of our work here, I have been offered and have accepted a new role to mentor and lead all Headmasters.
Beginning Monday, I will become the Head of School Operations for Great Hearts and responsible for leading all Headmasters, the Head of the Headmasters if you will. My job will be to lead the other 26 school leaders in further developing their cultures and communities and to ensure all our schools get the support they need to become great. That means I will be leaving Arete.
While I am sad to leave, I know that you will be in good hands. Ms. Julia Gillingham will become your new Headmaster. In her eight years with Arete, she has done nearly every job in our school. She started out as our Special Education teacher and ran nearly every special event at the school. When we needed an extra teacher she was always one to step in; one year she taught a lit/comp class; another year she taught science; another year she taught a math class. She was the office manager and director of operations. She was a mentor advisor and has worked extensively with the Deans. She has been our Assistant Headmaster for the last two years now and she has been an advisor to me from the start. Ms. Gillingham knows how we run the school, she knows how to run the school, and while I will continue to be her mentor, I know your children will be in the best of hands
In order that I might express my farewell in person, we will hold a town hall gathering next Wednesday, February 10th, in the Archway Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) at 6 pm. It is with a heavy heart, but also the joy of hope for all of Great Hearts that I bid you farewell.
Most sincerely yours.
An Educational Revolution
The Wisdom of the Ages
The Great Hearted Student
Pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.02, all notices of the governing board meetings will be posted at the school site and are available here.