Religions and Spirituality

Golda Och Academy Announces Incoming Head of School

Adam Shapiro addresses Golda Och Academy's Class of 2014. Credits: GOA

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Golda Och Academy (GOA), in West Orange, has named Adam Shapiro as the next Head of School for a term to begin upon Dr. Joyce Raynor’s retirement in June 2015. Mr. Shapiro will remain as Associate Head of School and Upper School Principal for the coming 2014-15 school year.

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to offer Mr. Shapiro the Head of School position, based on the strong recommendation of a Board Task Force that carefully examined the needs and priorities of the School.

“The Task Force and the Board enthusiastically believe that Mr. Shapiro is the right choice for our School to build upon our success under Dr. Raynor’s leadership, and to take us into the future,” said Chair of the Board of Trustees Sheryl Pearlstein.

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According to a representative for GOA, over his past 11 years at GOA, Mr. Shapiro has been a respected and innovative teacher, administrator and principal. He has taught social studies, Jewish history and Tanakh, has served as the Dean of Students, and has been a leader in building the school’s experiential education and community service programs. A graduate of Jack Barrack Hebrew Academy in Bryn Mawr, PA, Mr. Shapiro went on to receive a B.A. in Education and Jewish Studies from Emory University, and an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Davidson School of Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS). He received a certificate from the Day School Leadership Training Institute at JTS, and recently completed the Art of Leadership Program at the Principals’ Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

“We could not imagine a better choice for our next Head of School,” said Dr. Raynor. “He is a charismatic leader who has created strong relationships with the students and families in our community. His passion for Jewish education and academic excellence are apparent and he is dedicated to professionalism, strong communication and collaboration among the Golda Och Academy teachers, students, families, and donors.”

This announcement marks the end of a successful year at GOA, where the school has seen increasing enrollment, created and begun implementation of a new strategic plan and the near-completion of the Building on Tradition Campaign that has secured the financial future of the school, according to a GOA representative.

“I am honored and humbled by the Board’s confidence in me and my abilities to lead our school forward,” said Mr. Shapiro. “We have an incredibly talented faculty, highly-motivated students and a supportive community which I know will help make the transition a smooth one. As a school, we are committed to the growth of our students in both their general and Judaic studies, and I look forward to carrying on our many rich traditions, while advancing our school’s exciting and innovative new initiatives.”

Mr. Shapiro has worked closely with Dr. Raynor and will continue the tradition of high standards that have been established and will work to fulfill the school’s mission and help guide Golda Och Academy to a strong, bright future, according to a GOA representative.

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