Over the past six months, we have been executing an extensive national and international search for a new permanent head of school for the Ottawa Jewish Community School (OJCS).
This process saw over 15 qualified applicants show interest in our school. A rigorous screening and vetting process was undertaken with current administration, Board members and community members to identify our top candidates. Tours of the school for final candidates were conducted to see our students and teachers in action.
Heading into this process, we determined that we must find a leader that met our criteria related to academic excellence, educational leadership, community involvement, and fundraising skills. We also set out to find a leader looking to make a significant commitment to our school and our community. The children that attend our school are the future leaders of our community and we need to ensure our school continues on a path to achieve our vision of Respect. Responsibility. Reaching for Excellence.
We are pleased to announce that, through this process, we have signed a five-year contract with Jon Mitzmacher, EdD. Jon is a proven Jewish day school leader and educational professional. Jon is joining us from PRIZMAH, the U.S. centre for day school education, where he is vice-president of innovation. Jon will be coming to Ottawa from sunny Jacksonville, Florida, with his wife Jaimee and their two daughters who are looking forward to being students at OJCS in the next school year. Jon is excited about our community.
“We are thrilled to join such a warm, rooted, close-knit and committed Jewish community. We look forward to being active members of the Ottawa Jewish community; we are coming to Ottawa not only for a job, but to make a home,” he said.
The Ottawa Jewish Community School is a core pillar of our community and, for me and my family, an organization that provides us with a lot of love. I love the community that we have built within the school and the success of the children who leave our school and go on to do amazing things. I am truly excited about the opportunity we have ahead of us to have Jon work together with our Board, our administrative team and our teachers to drive us forward.
In Jon’s words, “I am looking forward to working with the dedicated faculty, staff, lay leaders and stakeholders of the Ottawa Jewish Community School to build on the solid foundation of academic excellence and Jewish engagement as we prepare to take the school from strength to strength.”
The Board would like to thank Sheldon Friedman, who, in collaboration with our administrative team and teacher group, has provided effective leadership this year. Sheldon will begin to work with Jon on transition and will finish the school year with us here at OJCS.
Jon will formally begin in his new role on July 3. We are looking forward to everyone welcoming him and his family to our community.