Head of School Search
Happy New Year, Craig Community! As you know, we are in the midst of an incredibly exciting time here at Craig and there is so much to celebrate! Although we will be saying goodbye to our wonderful Head of School, Tad Jacks, at the end of this academic year, we are so thankful to him for all that he has accomplished during his tenure at Craig. We feel very fortunate that Kara Loftin has accepted our offer to become our next Head of School and will begin this position on July 1, 2020. A Transition Committee has been formed at Craig consisting of members of the Board and faculty. Their task is to help make Kara’s transition to Craig as smooth as possible. The Transition Committee will also rely heavily on the entire Craig Community to help in this task. Kara will be here several times before her official start date and these will be wonderful opportunities for you to get to know Kara as well as show her what a fun and engaged community she’s joining! She’ll was on campus and attended the annual Chili Throwdown on Saturday, February 22nd . This year our annual Auction, which is our biggest fundraiser of the year, will be even more amazing than ever as we celebrate our founding 40 years ago! This will be another opportunity for you to meet Kara. Mark your calendars and plan to attend the 40th Anniversary Auction on Saturday, May 2nd at 6:30 pm at The Mansion at Mountain Lakes. More details to follow regarding this incredibly fun event where you’ll be able to chat with other parents, faculty, alumni as well as Tad and Kara. It’s a wonderful event which is a highlight of the year for all! https://www.craigschool.org/giving/annual-auction/ It’s no secret how much I love the Craig Community and I’m so excited that we will all be able to come together to show Kara how wonderful our school is too! As always, please reach out should you have any questions. Enjoy your week! Best wishes, Amanda Jahn Parent of Jarod (11th) and Jules (10th) and Transition Committee Chair Does Your Company Have a Matching Gifts Program? Click here to search our database of matching gifts companies.
November 13, 2019 Friends of The Craig School, On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce that Kara Loftin, Assistant Head of School for Academic Support, at Wasatch Academy has accepted our invitation to succeed Tad Jacks as the Head of The Craig School, effective July 1, 2020. Beginning last June, the Search Committee began the process of recruiting the strongest and best-matched candidates to our school from across the country. Following preliminary, confidential interviews with the Search Committee, three of these candidates visited the school for two days, where they met with staff members, parents, administrators, and trustees. After performing its subsequent due diligence, the Search Committee presented M s. Loftin as its nominee to the Board of Trustees to serve as the next Head of The Craig School. On November 11, the trustees unanimously accepted the committee’s recommendation. Since 1998, Kara Loftin has been a member of the faculty at Wasatch Academy, an independent school serving 340 students in grades 8-12 in Mount Pleasant, Utah. Her professional journey is a rather unique one. Initially trained in vocal music and subsequently having earned a Master’s in Business Administration, Kara previously taught music and served as the Communications Director at Wasatch. She developed a deep interest in the challenges facing students with learning differences while serving as Dean of Parent and Student Support Services. Provided with the opportunity to develop a more comprehensive program for such students, Kara’s initiative has produced a comprehensive and nationally recognized program that now serves approximately one-third of the Wasatch’s student body. Adding to her own professional development, Kara has earned a M. Ed. in Special Education from Fitchburg State University and is on track to earn her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado next spring. Kara and her husband Joe have three children: Karuna, a first-year college student at Ryerson University in Toronto; Joseph, a senior at Wasatch Academy; and Michel, a junior at Wasatch Academy. Joe will be retiring as Head of School at Wasatch Academy next June after serving in that role for thirty-two years. He will remain in Utah during the 2020-21 academic year to assist the incoming Head and for Michel’s senior year, and then will join Kara in New Jersey in 2021. In response to our offer from Craig, Kara has expressed these thoughts: “I am honored and humbled to be joining The Craig School community as the next Head of School. Within the first few moments of arriving on campus, I knew that The Craig School is a special place with a big heart. A sense of community and purpose was evident not only from the students I met in corridors and classrooms, but also from the immensely talented faculty and staff, the parents who communicated so eloquently what Craig had done for their child and their family, and finally, from the tireless dedication shown by the members of the Board of Trustees and Head of School Search Committee. The sense of family is palpable. I am thrilled to join you in calling The Craig School home. My highest priority as a school leader and educator is to serve the needs of the student. By focusing on a student’s strengths and competencies, student are emboldened to step into their true selves, to grow intellectually, and to seek out their passions. Creating a caring, thoughtful, and kind community where we celebrate our successes with one another, lean on each other when we struggle and dream big together is the learning environment for which I continue to strive. I look forward to getting to know each of you as we go on this journey together.” Choosing a new Head of School is one of the single greatest responsibilities of the Board of Trustees, and all of us in the Craig community owe a debt of gratitude to the efforts of our Search Committee. Chair Amanda Jahn was tireless and thorough in her commitment to this process. I was honored to join her on the Committee, along with Trustees Chris Coates and Andrea Lustig, parent Kathy Mc Neil, and Director of Admissions Nicole Moon. The Committee devoted countless hours and great care to the search process to ensure its successful outcome. In closing, let me reaffirm that Tad Jacks will continue to serve as our Head of School through June 30, 2020, and we know that he will work with Kara Loftin to assure a smooth transition in Craig’s leadership. Kara will continue with her responsibilities at Wasatch Academy through the remainder of this academic year, with occasional visits to Craig. On those visits and especially after she assumes her new role here next July 1st, I trust that all will join in welcoming her to the Craig community. Sincerely, Frank Velocci Chairman, Board of Trustees
October 16, 2019 Dear Members of The Craig School Community, Our first finalist visit will be on October 23rd and 24th, and we will provide information about that candidate in advance of her arrival. In addition, we will be having candidates on campus October 28 thru October 31st. There may be some changes of times – but our preliminary schedule has the group forums for our first candidate as follows: Wednesday, October 23rd – 2:15 – 3:00 pm Open Forum for LS / MS Faculty and Staff – Wilson Cafeteria Wednesday, October 23rd – 3:15 – 4:00 pm Open Forum for Parents and Alum – Wilson Cafeteria Wednesday, October 23rd – 11:35 – 12:15 pm Open Forum for HS Faculty and Staff – Dr. Cap’s Office We will be sending additional information on Monday, October 21st with a final schedule. On behalf of the Search Committee, I encourage you to come and meet the candidate. As a reminder, the selection of the next Head of School is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees based upon a nomination from the Search Committee. Tad Jacks will continue in his role through the 2019-20 school year, and his successor will assume responsibilities on July 1, 2020. With sincere appreciation, Amanda Jahn, Chair Head of School Search Committee
May 23, 2019 Dear Craig School Community, Six years ago, Tad Jacks became our Head of School. In that short period of time, Tad has guided us through some of our most transformative years and helped to create a foundation that will ensure our long-term success. With the conclusion of the 2019-2020 school year, his seventh, Tad has informed the Board of Trustees of his intent to step down as Head of School. I cannot say enough about the remarkable work that Tad has performed while at Craig. It has been my honor to serve as a Trustee with Tad as our Head. His love and dedication to Craig came through in every decision he made. I have had the pleasure of working one on one with Tad over the past four years. I can tell you first hand that Craig and its students were always first in his thoughts. He wants the very best for our children. It was always heartwarming to hear him tell me about the smallest detail of a student’s day or interests. Among the many highlights of Tad’s accomplishments at Craig, along with your Board of Trustees, is the purchase of our Campus in Mountain Lakes. There were years of uncertainty for the Lower School and Middle Schools’ long-term home but under his leadership, those worries were put to rest. While recent attention has centered on the significant renovations to our Lower and Middle School Campus, Tad’s primary focus has always been to enhance our current programs and make sure we remain leaders in our field. We have never offered a more compelling curriculum. Our Orton Reading Program is the model for schools to follow and we continue to find new and innovative approaches that allow our students to not only overcome their reading challenges but also excel in the classroom. During his final year, Tad will continue to focus on the academic and core curriculum recommendations and Action Plan themes that were part of our 2017 continuing accreditation process by the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and strengthening the programs that have made Craig the premier school for children with learning disabilities. With our wonderful and dedicated faculty, I can most assuredly say that Craig’s standard of excellence will continue. Tad will make sure of that. The Board of Trustees has established a Search Committee that will be chaired by Amanda Jahn, a Trustee and a Current Parent. We intend to engage our entire Craig community (parents, teachers, administration and our students) to help identify our next leader. We look forward to recruiting our next Head who will build upon Craig’s traditions and Tad’s work. Please join me in thanking Tad for his service. We will all miss him dearly. Frank F. Velocci Chair, Board of Trustees
Search Committee Members
Andrea Lustig, Trustee, Alumni Parent
Frank Velocci, Chairman Board of Trustees, Current Parent