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Welcome to Ed Rhee

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

After an extensive search spanning several months and including many exceptional candidates, I am pleased to announce that we have hired Ed Rhee as our new Middle School Director beginning July 1, 2015.

When we began the search process, our faculty and administrators helped identify the key attributes of our Middle School Director:

  • extensive middle school teaching experience
  • background in the development of middle school curriculum
  • senior administrative experience
  • commitment to social justice
  • spirit of passionate citizenry

Without question, Ed possesses all of these attributes and more.

Ed recently moved to California from Ligonier, Pennsylvania, where he was the Head of Upper School (grades 5-9) at the Valley School of Ligonier. At the Valley School he supervised all aspects of academic and extracurricular middle school life, supported faculty curriculum development, served as a member of the lead administrative team and managed all middle school communication.

Prior to the Valley School, Ed served as the Dean of Middle School at Friends Select School in Philadelphia, after serving as the Associate Director of Admissions at Chapin School in Princeton, New Jersey. In addition to his administrative experience, Ed has been a classroom teacher and a coach for close to twenty years.  

Ed has a master of education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a BA in English and drama from Kenyon College. He and his wife Katie, along with their two sons Emerson and Lachlan, live in the South Bay and will be visiting CDS throughout the spring to get to know our teachers, our parent community and our two campuses.

Ed is an experienced leader and a passionate middle school teacher. In his letter of interest he wrote:

In a successful middle school environment, students feel safe and supported enough to take the kinds of risks needed to discover not only who they are, but who they are not. This can only be achieved through the strength of the faculty. Especially in an independent school — where one has the opportunity to do the best work in education — the hiring, retaining and continuing development of a great faculty is paramount. As an administrator, it is my job to create an environment that allows the faculty to focus on the students and their development. Specifically, it is important to tap into the passions and expertise of the faculty and maximize the opportunities for cross-curricular work to help the students understand the interconnectedness of the curriculum, where learning is not done in a vacuum.

This is particularly important as we prepare our students to work within a global economy, one that requires both an understanding of one's own perspective and those of others. In this way, diversity throughout a middle school program is a must. It is as important for students to experience a variety of experiences, teaching styles, personalities and passions at this stage of life in order to prepare them to meet the world, as it is to establish and maintain a core set of values. Both are hallmarks of a successful middle school program, and both depend heavily on the strength of the faculty.

We couldn't agree more. And as we prepare to move our middle school to our new campus and continue the growth of our middle school, we are confident that Ed is fully prepared to take on the challenges and celebrate the accomplishments to come. Please join me in welcoming Ed and his family to the CDS community.

Ed and his family.
Middle School Director Ed Rhee and family.