Dear Princeton Montessori School Community,
As we end the school year, I want to inform you of a change in our governance leadership. While the governing of a non-profit school is work done behind the scenes, I know our community understands the importance of healthy and wise governance for a school and therefore would like to be informed of a transition within our Board for this coming school year. Our treasured Board Chair of the last ten years, Lee Gardner, will end her term at the close of the 2020-21 school year. Lee began her affiliation with Princeton Montessori School as a parent. Her boys, Christopher and Andrew, attended our middle school program in the early 2000s. During that time, Lee was an engaged parent, passionate about Montessori education, and even offered her professional services for faculty development.
Lee came on the Board in 2011 and took the Chairperson position in 2013, at a time when the school was managing the early post-recession years and preparing for a significant change in school leadership. She managed those transitions with grace and strength. Her tenure accomplishments are many, including co-leading the Head of School search in 2013-14, ensuring our governance model meets best practices according to the National Association of Independent Schools, founding working committees within the Board, improving the meeting format for Trustee meetings, and serving on the Executive and Governance Committees of the Board, where she helped identify and nurture new talent for the Board. This past year, she adeptly directed the Board through the challenges of pandemic planning. In addition, she was a constant support, thinking partner, and collaborator with me as a new Head of School these past seven years, for which I am sincerely grateful.
Given Lee’s professional background as a psychotherapist, she brought her skill of facilitation and relational management, along with strong leadership and professionalism to the role. She utilized her training in Bowen Family Systems theory, a natural systems theory that looks at the interconnectedness of all individuals within any relationship system, which enhanced her natural talents at Board management. The Trustees and I are so grateful for her dedication to our Board, passion for our mission, and calm, caring guidance these past eight years.
As Lee steps down, the Board has appointed James Chambers, current Trustee and Chair of the Governance Committee, as our new Board Chair. James has been a supportive and engaged parent from the beginning of his children’s attendance at the School. As a Trustee this past year, he has brought a strong understanding of governance management, mission-driven leadership, and creative strategic planning and execution to the important work he has done. As Coordinator of the office of small business outreach for the County of Mercer, James is solutions-oriented and a talented facilitator. We look forward to supporting his leadership and working to create a future for Princeton Montessori School, our SummerQuest programs, and Princeton Center for Teacher Education that continues to be vibrant, mission-driven, and reflective of the values of a Montessori education.
We wish Lee all the best as she transitions into other opportunities and thank her sincerely for her contributions these past years to our beloved institution.