Seattle, WA, May 12, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- The Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle (JDS) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Downs as JDS Interim Head of School effective July 1, 2013. Mike replaces Maria Erlitz who announced last year that she would step down in June to return to educational consulting.
Mike brings to JDS, extensive experience from his 21 year career in independent school leadership. While living in Israel, he taught high school English and applied his theater and music background as a drama teacher at the Beit Tsvi School of Stage and Cinematic Arts - Israel's equivalent of New York's Juilliard School. When he returned to the US, he worked in school leadership in Tulsa and Minneapolis before being hired as Head of School at St. Paul, Minnesota's prestigious Mounds Park Academy in 2002. He comes to JDS as he ends his successful eleven year tenure there.
Mike holds both an undergraduate and Masters degree from UCLA and was named a Columbia University Klingenstein Fellow. He has been named by the National Association of Independent School's (NAIS) to serve on an annual conference think tank tasked with conference planning; was invited to be a conference blogger; and has presented at numerous academic conferences including those hosted by the NAIS, the Independent Schools of the Central States (ISACS), and the Independent School Association of the Southwest (ISAS).
Mike Downs commented, "It's an honor to have been asked to fill very large shoes left by the retiring Maria Erlitz. I look forward to serving as the bridge between her inspired leadership and the next phase in the life of this amazing school."
JDS looks forward to working with Mike to continue to provide families with an exceptional and unique 21st century program for children in early childhood through 8th grade. JDS offers an inquiry-based and affective curriculum grounded in Responsive Classroom management practices. The program is rich in experiential learning, community service and green school opportunities, competitive athletics, daily second language, technology, music and art. Mike Downs will assume leadership as the school plans for its fall opening of a new STEM Innovation Lab and new Junior Kindergarten program.