The Board of Trustees is delighted to announce that Ms. Brooke Hopkins has been unanimously and enthusiastically appointed as Riverbend’s next Head of School effective July 1, 2023.
Following a nationwide search, Brooke was chosen from an outstanding slate of highly qualified candidates. According to Michael Tauer, Chair of the Board and Co-Chair of the search committee, “Brooke will be a transformational leader who will guide our school to become a true beacon of Montessori excellence. During her school visit, she immediately formed connections with all of our school’s constituencies and, given her background and experience, is ideally suited to build on Riverbend’s outstanding foundations of academic excellence and a strong, inclusive community.”
Brooke shared that she is “thrilled” to join the Riverbend community next summer, noting: “From the moment I stepped on Riverbend’s beautiful campus, I was welcomed with warmth and joy, and it will be my honor to extend that same sense of connection and positive energy to all who share in the magic of Riverbend. I can hardly wait to meet each and every one of you, to learn more about the school’s rich history and traditions, and to get to the important work of ensuring Riverbend will continue to thrive for many, many years to come.”
Brooke is currently the Associate Head of School at Oak Grove Montessori School in Mansfield, CT where she is involved in every aspect of school operations. Before moving to Oak Grove, Brooke excelled as the Director of Enrollment and Marketing Strategy for the Community Music School in Springfield – growing the enrollment, redesigning the financial aid program to ensure greater access and equity, and helping diversify the school’s revenue sources. Prior to these positions, Brooke served as head of The Little School (GA), director of English immersion at Rabun Gap Nocoochee School (GA), director of the signature Affinities Program at Purnell School (NJ), and as a K-8 Spanish teacher (CA). Brooke’s love of Montessori education began in childhood when she attended a Montessori school. Brooke’s references were uniformly laudatory, describing her as a vibrant, hands-on leader who possesses uncommon strategic acumen and indefatigable energy – a “change-maker” who is passionate about social justice, educating the whole child, and bringing out the best in children and adults.
Brooke will replace our current head of school Whitney Slade, who announced his retirement last spring after a highly successful tenure. Whitney shared, “Brooke is a fantastic choice to be the next Head of Riverbend School. She brings a broad array of skills and strengths in the operational, strategic and community relations aspects of school leadership. I am incredibly proud to know that Riverbend’s future is in safe hands.” As Michael Tauer noted, “Our community has already accomplished so much in our school’s brief history, and we are eager to take the next steps toward advancing our mission. We are very excited to work with Brooke to write the next chapter of Riverbend’s story.”
A Head of School transition team is being assembled and will work closely with Brooke and Whitney to ensure a smooth transition. The Board of Trustees is thankful for the thoughtful feedback in the search process from the community (parents, faculty, staff, and students), and extends its warm gratitude to the Head of School Search Committee members: faculty members Seth Meicht, David Wilkins, Janet Gelcich, and Lynn Shevory; and trustees Deborah Farmer Kris, Michael Tauer (Co-Chair), Emeka Iffih (Co-Chair), Aaron Levy, Lindsey Galvao, Elizabeth Milewski, and Jessica Baur.
Brooke lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband David Hopkins, a school administrator, and their two daughters, Juliet, and Naomi. Please join us in celebrating this joyous appointment with Brooke and her family.
Riverbend School Board of Trustees