Effective July 1, 2018, The Episcopal School of Dallas is pleased to announce that Chelle Wabrek will become the Interim Head of Middle School. Tracey Shirey will advance to the position of Interim Head of Lower School, and Amy Cuccia will assume the Interim Assistant Head of Lower School role.
"ESD is fortunate to have gifted academic leaders who are enthusiastic and exceptionally experienced with developing and furthering cultures of academic excellence," said Head of School Meredyth Cole. "We are grateful for Mike's contributions to ESD and celebrate his next step as Head of Middle School at Detroit Country Day. The Board, leadership team, Dave Baad, and I are confident and excited to welcome Chelle, Tracey, and Amy in their new roles."
Chelle Wabrek has actively served the ESD community since 2013; first as Assistant Head of Lower School and as Head of Lower School for the last four years. Her extensive knowledge of curriculum, classroom innovation and design, and child development has, in partnership with our talented faculty, enhanced and elevated ESD's Lower School. She is known as a master teacher and collaborative leader who conducts herself with remarkable mindfulness, energy, and appreciation.
Chelle came to ESD from the Louisville Collegiate School in Kentucky where in addition to teaching, she was the Director of Auxiliary Programs and founding Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Glenmary Academy, Louisville's only independent school program for Upper School Students who are non-traditional learners. Chelle created and implemented year-long, signature, interdisciplinary coursework for sixth and seventh grades, developed Mayor's Council curriculum for grades six through eight, planned schedules for middle school students, and developed and measured year-long goals for middle school staff based on data gleaned from constituent and administrator surveys and testing data. Chelle introduced innovative changes to the Lower School Language Arts and Social Studies curricula; researched and secured grants to pioneer a 1:1 iPad program; and reinvigorated the school's auxiliary programs. Before becoming an administrator, Chelle gained 15 years of classroom experience as she led the fourth-grade team at Collegiate and as a third-grade and fourth-grade teacher at her alma mater Metairie Park Country Day School in New Orleans, Louisiana. As a team leader, she coordinated and collaborated with multiple teachers to develop and execute an academically rigorous, interdisciplinary, project-based program. Chelle is a graduate of Colgate University, where she graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Education and Sociology and Anthropology. She earned an M.A. in Educational Leadership and Administration from George Washington University.
Tracey Shirey is delighted to step into the role as Interim Head of Lower School. She has served as Assistant Head of Lower School for three years. Building on the tremendous foundation and culture of excellence already in place, she will continue to develop and evaluate curriculum and coach teachers as they deepen their commitment to best practice in teaching and learning. For the eight years prior to becoming an Eagle, Tracey co-founded Thinking Matters with Amy Cuccia, a teacher coaching and curriculum development firm committed to helping teachers reach their full potential in the classroom for the benefit of each child in their classroom. Her clients included ESD, Hockaday, St. John's Episcopal School, and Ft. Worth Country Day. Tracey spent the first 15 years of her career as an elementary classroom teacher. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, she also served at Hockaday as the PK-4 Language Arts Coordinator, co-founder and co-director of the Hockaday Writing Institute, Ten-year ISAS Evaluation Chair, and the Curriculum and Scheduling Coordinator. In Highland Park, she was the fourth-grade team leader, technology chairperson, a member of the systems alignment and math mapping team, and two-year nominee for Teacher of the Year. She has also taught at Good Shepherd Episcopal School and in the Tyler and Conroe Independent School Districts. Tracey holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Learning and Development from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Gifted and Talented Education from SMU.
Amy Cuccia will serve as Assistant Head of Lower School and continue her work as Director of Early Childhood Education, keenly focused on the learning and teaching needs of our youngest students. Amy's many years in early childhood classrooms, her passion for the unique developmental needs of very young children, and her dedication to coaching teachers in their craft greatly benefit our Beginner through Primer programs. Amy's early childhood and elementary classroom teaching experience is extensive, including 15 combined years at Hockaday, St. John's Episcopal School, Bradfield Elementary in Highland Park, and Elliott Elementary in Ft. Worth ISD. Amy holds a Bachelor's in Elementary Education from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Reading and Literacy from Texas A&M University, Commerce.
We are certain Chelle, Tracey, Amy, Head of Upper School Henry Heil, and Academic Dean Eric Boberg will continue to set the independent school standard for developing the academic, character, and leadership skills essential for success in a nurturing, rigorous, supportive, and inclusive school community.
Upon Dave Baad's arrival, he will partner with the Executive Leadership Team to assess the best leadership model to move ESD from interim Head of Lower School and Head of Middle School positions to permanent placements.
We are grateful to Mike Jenkins for his service to ESD as Head of Middle School. Starting in July 2018, he will be the Head of Middle School for Detroit Country Day, a well-respected, PK-12 independent school in Michigan serving more than 1,500 students. Mike, Andrea, and Matt are looking forward to this great opportunity. Matt is particularly excited about the abundance of hockey. Please join us in wishing the Jenkins family the very best.