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The Cushman School

An Identity Linked to Excellence

Head of School Transition

Letter From the Chairman of the Board

Amy Lehman Chairman of the Board of Cushman SchoolDear Friends,

It is with great joy that I write to tell you that Ms. Arvi Balseiro has accepted the invitation of the Board of Trustees to succeed Dr. Lutton and become the third Head of School effective July 1, 2012. Ms. Balseiro was the unanimous first choice of the Search Committee. Her selection was ratified unanimously by the Board of Trustees at a special meeting on December 2, 2011.

Although, Ms. Balseiro, an extraordinarily gifted leader and visionary educator, has been director of the Primary School for the past six years, she has been preparing for the position of Head of School for nearly 25 years. As she told an inquiring and cautious Search Committee, her commitment to and identification with excellence began as a first grade teacher at The Cushman School. With a range of abilities in her classroom, she introduced differentiated education to her students which allowed her to customize their learning. Ms. Balseiro, then still a teacher at The Cushman School, instituted a program that required a teacher’s effectiveness to be evaluated, not only by his or her superiors, which was then the norm, but by his or her peers. Today peer evaluation in the education arena is standard practice. Ms. Balseiro introduced this program to a nationwide audience of senior administrators at a conference in Washington when she was still only teaching first grade! Her drive to be the best is reflected in a program called the “Balanced Scorecard,” which requires every teacher and administrator to evaluate the quality of his or her contribution to the excellence of The Cushman School program. It was her persuasiveness, enthusiasm, and leadership that motivated the Trustees in 2003 to participate and evaluate their own contributions to the School.

Ms. Balseiro is masterful at developing the strategic partnerships and innovative programs that distinguish The Cushman School as a progressive, forward thinking institution of learning for young people. She has worked with Hunan University’s Affiliated School in Changsha, China, Castro Verde School in Santander, Spain, Barry University and the Bass Museum. She established and directed the TEDxCushmanSchool Steering Committee which resulted in the TEDxCushmanSchool, a globally recognized forum where children shared their ideas without notes or teleprompter with a live audience. These presentations were also streamed worldwide in real time.

I am so tremendously impressed, proud of her achievements and certain that she is the right person to lead The Cushman School that I have chosen to keep a copy of her resume on file in our main office. Please feel free to come in and ask for one, so that you will be as confident about the future of The Cushman School in the hands of Ms. Arvi Balseiro as am I and my fellow Board Members.

As you know, the selection of Ms. Balseiro is the culmination of a six month search that involved parents, faculty, and the entire Board of Trustees. Headed by our former Board Chair, Mrs. Marie Grossfeld, with the invaluable advice and assistance of Mrs. Cheryl Rogers, I am pleased to report that The Cushman School attracted an extremely qualified finalist candidate against whom Ms. Balseiro was in competition. After intense screening and examination, it became overwhelmingly clear that there was no competition at all. Ms. Balseiro’s intellect, her ability to answer difficult questions directly and informatively, and her obvious identification with excellence made her the unanimous first choice of the Board of Trustees.

My thanks to Mrs. Grossfeld and Mrs. Rogers – we could never have done it without you. My thanks to Dr. Lutton for placing her confidence in the judgment of the entire Board of Trustees, and to my fellow Trustees for placing their confidence in me, as their Chairman.

My best wishes to all in the Cushman community – whether or not we know one another personally – I consider every Cushman person a friend.


Amy Lehman

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