Karen Trager takes full-time post at West Hartford day school, Yachad set to name new director

By Cindy Mindell

One year after stepping in as interim director of Yachad: Greater Hartford Jewish Community High School, Karen Trager is taking a full-time position at Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford (SSDS).

Trager had been dividing her time between the two schools, serving as lower school coordinator at SSDS. Former executive director of the Commission on Jewish Education & Leadership of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford (CJEL), she was part of the Yachad search committee for a new director when Audrey Lichter left the position to launch the new Chai Mitzvah initiative (see “Chai Celebrates Its First Anniversary,” Ledger June 11, 2010). Trager will now be full-time director of curriculum and supervision for kindergarten through 8th grade.
“Karen did a phenomenal job,” says Yachad co-president Mel Simon. “She helped bring new leadership to our board, took the board through a visioning process in preparation for a new curriculum, and rebuilt the presence and image of the school in the community. Our transition and search process were so much more successful because of the things she did.”
At press time, Simon was just days away from announcing the name of Yachad’s new director.
While heading Yachad, Trager and board leadership worked with educational consultants from CJEL’s La’atid Leadership Initiative, studying other U.S. Jewish high schools to reshape Yachad’s curriculum and programming.
In addition, Trager has been researching an internship program which would give Yachad teens the opportunity to serve at Jewish community organizations and agencies, under the supervision of a faculty facilitator. The Teen Leadership and Tzedakah Institute, funded by the Jewish Community Foundation and offered through Yachad, will be expanded to include additional years of curriculum and a new collaborative relationship between the two institutions. The Institute will be opened up to all Jewish high-school students in the community.
At Schechter, Trager will work on curricula for all grades, in collaboration with the Judaic studies coordinator. She will be responsible for teacher supervision and evaluation, special programming, and parent communication, as well as student issues from academic to behavioral.
Trager brings with her an extensive professional background in training educators and developing curriculum.
“This is such a perfect fit for me,” Trager says. “I feel like a duck in water.”

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