By Cindy Mindell
WEST HARTFORD – The coming academic year will see a change in leadership at Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford.
Andrea Kasper has been appointed as new head of school, effective July 1, 2014. Kasper comes to West Hartford from the Krieger Schechter Day School in Baltimore, Md., where she served as Director of Teaching and Learning.
“It is a pleasure and honor to announce Andrea Kasper as our next head of school,” says Robert Kessler, president of the SSDS Board of Trustees. “Her natural collaborative leadership style, innovative vision for Jewish day school education, and passion for excellence in teaching will be instrumental in leading our school as we continue to grow, plan and implement a strategy that will secure the school’s future into the 21st century.”
A widely published author on critical and necessary innovation in Jewish day schools, Kasper has focused primarily in the areas of project-based learning and emerging trends in integrated curriculum. She has developed a national reputation as a transformational thought leader in Jewish education and in innovation in curriculum integration and pedagogy. Her proposal for a Jewish vocational high school won the 2011 Jewish Futures competition, an initiative of the Jewish Education Project (a merger of the Board of Jewish Education New York and Suffolk Association for Jewish Education Services).
Kasper is a Fellow in the Day School Leadership Training Institute, a program of the Jewish Theological Seminary Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. She is a founding facilitator of JEDLAB, a Facebook group of more than 1,300 teachers, rabbis, administrators, parents, and others exchanging ideas on how to transform Jewish education. She is also a member of the ROI Community, an international network of activists and change-makers working to redefine Jewish engagement for a new generation of global citizens.
Kasper is a graduate of the Cohen Hillel Academy in Marblehead, Mass. She received a BA at the George Washington University and earned her master’s degree in Jewish education at Hebrew College. She is currently completing her doctorate in Jewish educational leadership at Northeastern University.
In addition to her career as a Jewish educator, Kasper is also a contemporary dancer who has performed and choreographed throughout the U.S. and danced with the Momentum Dance Company in Panama City, Panama.
“It is thrilling to join the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford as it embarks on this exciting next chapter,” Kasper says. “Entering a passionate and committed community to work toward an innovative vision of Jewish education is an honor. I look forward to working with the students, families, and board to build upon a strong foundation and make SSDS an even more vibrant and dynamic educational institution.”
Kasper will be moving to Connecticut with her husband, Jacob, and their three children, Zelia, Lazar, and Inez.
“As an individual and as an educator, Andrea holds the qualities and skills that the board of trustees, the search committee, and the Schechter community feel are essential to successfully lead the school at this critical juncture,” says Kessler. “Andrea has the right combination of skills, experience, and knowledge to foster and oversee Schechter’s curriculum in assuring academic rigor while appreciating different learning styles, and a resolute commitment to our values.”