Announcing the new Director of the Melrose Family Center for Servant Leadership
Head of School Dr. Natalia Rico Hernández shared the following news with the Breck community earlier today regarding the appointment of the new Director of the Melrose Family Center for Servant Leadership.
In 2013, visionary leaders and generous donors established Breck's Melrose Family Center for Servant Leadership to focus on the teaching of leadership through empathy, compassion, and awareness - traits that are prominent in both servant leadership and our School. Because of the center, our School continues to benefit from the generous philanthropy of Ken Melrose and his family as well as their commitment to inspire others to lead with purpose, integrity, and care. Importantly, the Melrose family and school leaders were clear that this center should also provide a sound educational framework for leveraging our existing strengths in the areas of community partnerships and diversity, equity, and inclusivity. We are fortunate to have this center to inspire new initiatives, focus on leadership skills from preschool through 12th grade, and serve as a gathering place for important and difficult conversations.
As you may know, we began a national search for the center’s director in 2017. An exhaustive search continued this year, yielding strong interest from candidates across the country. I am grateful for the many faculty and staff who helped carry forward the work of the center. With the same enthusiasm, I want to thank those who assisted with the search process. I am now thrilled to announce the appointment of Heidi J. Kim as the next Director of the Melrose Center for Servant Leadership, as of July 1, 2019.
Since 2014, Heidi has been the staff officer for racial reconciliation with The Episcopal Church where she worked on the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's staff, serving two million people in 109 dioceses across the U.S. and in 16 countries. Based out of Seattle, Washington, Heidi led the strategic design, implementation, research, and analysis for the church's long-term strategic commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice initiative, "Becoming Beloved Community." She is known for her relational and invitational approach of bringing together groups of people across difference who might otherwise never speak and helping them discover their shared values and principles in the pursuit of right relationship.
While she has enjoyed her time with The Episcopal Church, Heidi is looking forward to returning to her roots in the field of education. Heidi began her career as an instructor and advisor at Colby College where she taught in the departments of sociology, anthropology, American studies, and women's studies. She went on to become the Director of Diversity at Seattle Preparatory School in Seattle, Washington. During her time there, Heidi designed and implemented diversity and inclusion initiatives for all levels of the institution and worked cross-departmentally and with the board and senior leadership to improve outcomes and the cultural climate for underrepresented students and faculty/staff.
Today, Heidi will bring her experience to Breck as the Director of the Melrose Family Center for Servant Leadership. I was inspired by Heidi’s enthusiasm around creating a preschool through 12th grade culture that deliberately focuses on creating leaders of integrity who understand the importance of common ground through diversity. She has worked in communities all over the U.S., from small towns in Iowa to New York and Washington, DC. In each of those experiences, she was both a subject matter expert and learner. By listening carefully and deeply, she could then bring her experience of implementing DEI strategic priorities to bear in a way that was authentic, meaningful, and effective.
Heidi holds an A.B. in American Civilization from Brown University, an M.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and has completed the coursework for an Ed.D. from Seattle University. She is also a classical professional soprano and currently serves as section leader for Seattle Pro Musica, and looks forward to exploring the vibrant musical culture in the Twin Cities.
Congratulations to Emre Adabag, Margaret Broyles, Andrew Cheng, James Clinton, Samantha Detor, Gunnar Evenstad, Ekemini Jones, Grace Medeiros, Sam Schoenecker, Dylan Vincent, and Niels Wu, who were named National Merit Semifinalists by the College Board.
Beth Gaffga returns to Breck as our new Middle School English Teacher.