A Special Announcement from Claire and Joe
Dearest Parkside families and friends,
Now that the school year is firmly underway, Joe and I want to share some personal plans that will be unfolding over the rest of the year and into the next. After 28 years of creating and growing our dream, the beautiful living and learning community of which you are all a part, we have decided it is time for us to transition into retirement. Breathe … This is a wonderful, bittersweet moment, and we want you to be a part of it. It will be a thoughtful process, and as we have more details, we will update you along the way. The most important piece, however, we can share with you now: We have every intention and desire for Parkside to continue for generations to come, and our goal is to take this time to put in place the people and plans necessary to make that happen.
To begin, I will be working a four-day week this year, reserving Wednesdays to try on post-retirement life. Later this month, Joe and I will be taking a long-awaited two-week trip to Italy – our first ever vacation during the school year! We are looking forward to the adventure as well as our first opportunity to leave the day-to-day administration of the school in the capable hands of others, all of whom you are familiar with and we trust implicitly.
As Joe and I transition into our new roles as Directors Emeritus, we are happy to announce that Courtney Moore, our current Director of Communications and Development, will be stepping in to the role of Head of School in the fall of 2019. Courtney is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and St. Mary’s University School of Law, and she has been a member of our community for 13 years as a parent, classroom assistant, and administrator. She brings a deep love for Montessori education and the Parkside culture in addition to the business experience and professionalism needed to maintain the core values, academic standards, and overall health of the school. I plan to work closely with her this year, mentoring her in all aspects of my position and broadening her knowledge of the Montessori method and its implementation at Parkside. In Courtney and the rest of our dynamic administration team, we are fortunate to have the future leadership of our school already working within our ranks, and we believe this will allow us to create as seamless a transference of responsibilities as possible. We also know there will be additional needs created by our absence, so over time, we will be searching for new faces to join our team to ensure that the children, the staff, and the Montessori curriculum are all held and honored with equal care and respect.
Joe will continue mentoring the staff and sharing his vast knowledge and experience with us as well as the greater Montessori community in Austin and beyond. And, of course, he will be front and center at Simple Gifts. We are in deep conversation about what “stepping away” will ultimately look like for us, and we will share any further clear plans when we have them. That said, Parkside is our home, and you are our family, so we will never truly be gone. Thank you for your love and support of our dream, and we look forward to a long, bright future for all of us.
With much love and gratitude,
Claire and Joe