Dear SJMS Community,

After several months of work and contributions from people across our community, it is with tremendous pleasure that I share with you that the Board of Trustees has selected the next Head of School of St. Joseph Montessori School. Brenda Huth has accepted the position and will begin her tenure on May 1, 2019. Matt Brenner will remain in his role through June 30, 2019, allowing for a smooth administrative transition.

In my email from September at the beginning of our search, I shared that we must find someone who is deeply experienced in Montessori, well-versed in school administration, Catholic, and strong in curriculum and teaching. And, this candidate must reflect the values and perspectives of our community. To meet these objectives, our process needed to be thorough and exhaustive. After preliminary interviews with the Search Committee, finalists were invited to visit SJMS, where they met with the Advisory Committee, faculty, staff, parents, and trustees. After reviewing and discussing all feedback, the Search Committee presented its recommendation on December 27th to the Board of Trustees, and we selected Brenda Huth as our unanimous choice.

I am confident that we have found a great leader in Brenda. She is currently the Director of Curriculum and Student Services at Oak Farm Montessori School in Avilla, Indiana, which serves 297 students from Infant through High School.  Brenda has been at Oak Farm since 2015, and last year she served as Interim Co-Director of the school.  Her responsibilities as Director of Curriculum include maintaining the fidelity of authentic Montessori practices by working directly with classroom teachers and specialists. As Director of Student Services, she works with students with behavioral and academic concerns by developing Student Action Plans, observing in classrooms, brainstorming strategies, and facilitating the school’s Student Support Team Process. 

From 2008-2015 Brenda was the Montessori Resource Teacher/Curriculum Development Specialist at Bunche Montessori School in Fort Wayne. Bunche is a public, urban, district-sponsored magnet school. It was also the first public school to be accredited by the American Montessori Society. Prior to that role, from 1996-2008, she was a classroom teacher of 3 - 6-year-olds at Bunche.

In addition to her work in schools, Brenda is very active in Montessori associations.  She is a member of the American Montessori Accreditation Commission and a Board member of the United Montessori Schools of Indiana.  These roles have enabled Brenda to visit many schools to examine their Montessori practices and standards. Brenda earned both a B.S. and M.S. in Special Education from Saint Francis University. She currently lives in Fort Wayne but will be relocating to the Columbus area for this new position.

Brenda’s depth of Montessori experience will help us deliver on the goals of our Strategic Plan and reinvigorate our Montessori practice in the years to come.

This outcome would not have been possible without the contributions of many members of our community. We must thank our two co-chairs of the Search Committee, Liza Paul and Rissa Blevins, who invested countless hours planning and executing the search. They ably represented our school in interactions with candidates, and their commitment and positivity helped make the search successful. We also received great support from the Board of Trustees Search Committee, and thoughtful insights from our Advisory Committee, which was made up of parents, faculty, and staff. Lastly, we deeply appreciate all of you who were able to meet each candidate during their visits and share your feedback with the committee. You made the candidates feel welcome and helped them understand who we are and where we want to go. This collaborative search process represents everything that makes SJMS such a special school. 

I would like to take a moment to thank Matt Brenner again for his many contributions and service to our school these past five and a half years. He has helped drive our school toward its bright future and continued to provide leadership to keep us strong during the transition this year. 

I look forward to the next phase of our school under Brenda’s leadership. Please join me in welcoming Brenda Huth to the SJMS community!

Brad Shank
President, Board of Trustees

Search Committee
Rissa Blevins, Co-Chair
Liza Paul, Co-Chair
Christie Frankart
Ronnie Romito
Brad Shank
Holly Shaver
Charles Wilson

Advisory Committee
Anne Boninsegna
Katie Cibulskas
Tiffany Cooper
Michael Graham
Amanda Hromco
Linda Miller
William Reed
Stephanie Tresso
Karin Vermander
Heather Zerbi

View the Head of School Position Profile from Educators’ Collaborative.

Head of School Search Co-Chairs

Larissa Blevins, Vice President of the SJMS Board of Trustees

Liza Paul, Member of the SJMS Board of Trustees

Letters to the Community