Netra Fitzgerald Named Head of Saint Michael Episcopal School
Dear Members of the Saint Michael Episcopal School Community,
The Board of Directors is delighted to announce the appointment of Mrs. Netra Fitzgerald as Saint Michael Episcopal School’s next Head of School, effective July 1, 2020.
This appointment is the culmination of an extensive search in which the 7-person search committee—with the help of our consulting firm Carney Sandoe & Associates—screened numerous candidates and interviewed five highly qualified candidates before unanimously agreeing that Netra was a perfect fit to lead Saint Michael Episcopal School in this important time in our history.
Netra comes to SMES immediately after serving as Head of Greenhill School Preschool Division for five years. She focused there on establishing strong relationships with her students, parents and faculty. During her tenure, the student enrollment in the Greenhill Preschool grew to be the largest in Greenhill’s 70-year history. She has been instrumental in guiding their curriculum development, social & emotional learning skills integration, and balance of direct learning & play. Throughout the greater preschool community, Netra has become known for her expertise. Even internationally, her leadership and knowledge have been recognized as evidenced by her invitation to present at the Annual International Education Summit in Beijing, China last summer where she presented and spoke on “Early Childhood Learning Ages 0-3."
Most importantly, Netra has the vital experience of being a teacher in the classroom for a number of years including Kindergarten and First Grade. The Search Committee believed strongly that an able administrator without meaningful classroom experience would not be as attuned to our faculty and students as she clearly will be.
Netra’s background includes over twenty years in education with a focus on early childhood and leadership. She began her educational career as a kindergarten teacher at Presbyterian Day School in Memphis. Thereafter, she has taught at four independent schools across the country, teaching first grade, directing summer school programs, and serving as interim assistant head of school in Albuquerque before moving to the Metroplex in 2014.
A 1992 graduate of Christian Brothers University in Memphis with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, Netra then earned a Master of Arts in Teaching: Curriculum and Instruction in 1999 from the University of Memphis. She was also selected in 2006 to participate in the highly regarded Project Zero Summer Institute at Harvard University where she took a deep dive into learning and intelligence.
We look forward to welcoming Netra, her husband Ty and their adult children (Kelsey studying to be a nurse and Kyle applying to medical schools) to our school and our community.
As we make this important announcement, I want to publicly thank Amy McMahan for her extraordinary leadership and unmatched engagement with SMES over the past two years. I personally asked Amy to step into the breach when Katie Riley, our former Head, needed to step aside for health reasons
. She has continued to move the school forward to where we find ourselves today. Simply one of the best early childhood educational institutions in Dallas. She has been an incredibly effective Head. I will be forever grateful.
I would also like to thank the members of the Search Committee and our consultants at Carney Sandoe for their tireless efforts. In addition, I would like to thank all the Saint Michael Episcopal School community who shared their insights and perspectives as to the type of leader that SMES needs to continue to thrive and grow.
We, as a search committee, were impressed by Netra’s enthusiasm for teaching, her love of the children and her Christ centered approach to education. Her almost instant and genuine connection with all she met was remarkable to observe. Both her academic background and her professional experience fit beautifully with our beloved Saint Michael Episcopal School. I cannot wait for her to begin.
President, Saint Michael Episcopal School Board of Directors
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