Brad Philpson, a New Orleans native, teacher and school administrator, was announced as the incoming Jewish Community Day School (JCDS) head of school in a joint announcement on Wed., March 13, by Search Committee chair Dr. Michael Wasserman, JCDS president Carole Cukell Neff and present Oscar J. Tolmas Head of School Sharon Pollin.
Philpson recently returned to New Orleans to become the upper and middle school principal at the Young Audiences Charter School in Gretna. Prior to that he had lived in Ft. Worth, TX, where he worked at Country Day School as the assistant head of school for Academics and Curriculum and a communications specialist. Previously, Philpson was a teacher and upper school assistant principal at Metairie Park Country Day School here.
Pollin echoed praises from Neff and Wasserman for Philpson, writng the he “possesses a unique set of skils and expierences that I beleive are exactly what JCDS needs now. He is a highly skilled and experienced educator and has financial training and administrative leadership experience in a variety of settings.”
When contacted by the CCJN, Philipson stated he was hesitant about leaving his position at Young Audiences so soon after having taken it, but that he was intrigued by the possibility initially. His curiosity gave way to real interest on the day in January when he officially interviewed for the position with the search committee, he said.
“That day on campus, just seeing it in action, just overtook me,” Philpson explained. “Seeing how much these teachers knew these kids (and) seeing the joy in these kids.”
Philipson also is looking forward to participating in the Day School Leadership Training Institute (DSLT), a 15-month program being administered by the Jewish Theological Seminary and AVI CHAI. Wasserman described the program as important because it focuses on Judaism, education and leadership, providing ongoing mentoring to new heads of school
Philipson said he looks forward to taking over after Pollin’s tenure ends in May. “As a small school, it needs to focus on some marquis programs that can really draw attention to the school and be successful at what it does well,” Philpson added.
Philpson is also busy with plans for an expanding family. He and his wife are expecting their first child in August.