2010-07-23

One More Step Forward for Post Oak High School

As in the Weekly Post, July 23, 2010.

From John Long, Head of School




Letter dated July 19, 2010

Dear Parents,


I have great news to announce.  James and Sarah Moudry will be joining the Post Oak team in August.  James Moudry has accepted my offer to become the founding director of the Post Oak High School.  For the past three years he has served on the leadership team of the Montessori High School in Cleveland. This makes him uniquely qualified to assume the lead role in the development of the Post Oak High School, a two-year process to develop curriculum, establish Museum District partnerships, acquire property, design facilities, recruit students and faculty, and raise the funds to pay for it all.  There is much work to be done before we can open the doors to a freshman class in August 2012 and clearly James will not accomplish this alone.  It will take many hands to bring forth the high school, and it will be James’ role to provide leadership.

Previous to his experience with the development and start-up phases of the Cleveland project, James worked for six years as a Montessori Middle School teacher and team leader.  In addition, he has written and spoken about the Montessori adolescent, and served on the faculty of the NAMTA Summer Orientation to Adolescent Studies. He consulted with the Post Oak Middle School during our last two AMI accreditation cycles (2006 and 2010) and his reports were observant, insightful, and encouraging. At the same time, he helped us set a clear agenda for growth.  


Because of this experience I’ve asked James to assume responsibility as Middle School director during the start up phase for the High School.  This will help him to become more deeply familiar with the Post Oak Middle School program, students and families, a knowledge that will serve him well as we develop the high school and recruit the first classes of students.  This shift of responsibility will also enable Jeff Schneider to focus completely on the Elementary department.  Given the growth of our Elementary program over the past three years, this is important — especially in the upcoming year as we open a new Upper Elementary classroom and have three teachers in new positions.


James’ academic background prepares him well for the work ahead.  He has an AMI Primary Diploma from the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota; an M.Ed. from Loyola University Maryland; and a B.A. in psychology, philosophy, and mathematics from the University of Minnesota. Just as important, he was a Montessori child all the way through eighth grade at The Lake Country School in Minneapolis.


Sarah Moudry will also be joining the Post Oak faculty.  Many of you met Sarah Moudry two years ago when she came here to film NAMTA’s video about the Infant Community.  Sarah will become our pinch hitter, assuming the position of full time substitute teacher.  Sarah is trained at the Infant Community level (Denver) and Primary (Minneapolis).  She has an M.Ed. from Loyola University Maryland and a B.S. in environment, textiles, and design from the University of Wisconsin. She has classroom experience at all levels from Infant Community to Middle School, has directed a parent-infant class, served as the Primary training course assistant to Molly O’Shaughnessy in Minneapolis for seven years, and has spoken and written about Montessori in both home and school settings.


We’ll also be joined by the Moudrys’ three children:                 , and         . The family is planning to relocate to Houston in August and to join us for the start up of the new school year.  I invite you to give the Moudrys a warm welcome to the Post Oak community.


-John

A letter from James Moudry:
I am excited to join the Post Oak community for the great undertaking of the Post Oak High School.  Having worked with the Middle School faculty and talked with students at POS over the past three years, it is easy to see that the graduates are ready for incredible work and how prepared they are to make their mark in the world.  The anticipation of the Post Oak High School brings with it wonderful opportunities to develop together an environment that builds on the foundation and preparation already in place to create a capstone for the school. 
For my part, I am glad to join such a positive, grounded, and forward-looking school community.  Everyone I have encountered at POS and in Houston has been gracious and warm­—though the warmth may have just been the heat of the summer!  As my family gets our feet on the ground in August, we are ready to embrace the POS community and to orient to our new hometown!  Thank you to the Post Oak faculty and staff for welcoming us to the school.      
 —James Moudry,  Middle School Director & High School Principal