Maclay’s Head of School James Milford announces today that Susan Baker-Lapp will be the new Director of Lower School effective July 1, 2019.
"Susan brings the right mix of curricular expertise, broad experience working with students, care, and a sense of humor,” Milford said. “Susan is widely respected in the education community and has placed her fingerprints on schools around the country and the world. She brings a level of expertise and a global mindset that will guide our Lower School in new and exciting ways.”
A seven-person committee completed a comprehensive national search process. Six candidates were interviewed and vetted as finalists over the last ten weeks. Four finalists were advanced, and each participated in a day-long interview during which students, faculty, parents, and administration were part of the hiring process.
She will replace the current Director of Lower School, Mrs. Marty Kiser, who is retiring at the end of June after 15 years as head of the Lower School and nine years as a teacher at Maclay School.
“It is with a sense of excitement that we welcome Ms. Baker-Lapp to head our Lower School division. She is a knowledgeable and experienced leader that will inspire our faculty,” said Darlene Miller, chairperson of the Search Committee.
"Ms. Baker-Lapp is an authentic, confident, energetic, and knowledgeable leader who is passionate, tenacious, and research oriented. I am eager to partner with her as she leads our Lower School to new heights," said Charles Beamer, Assistant Head of School and Director of the Upper School.
Baker-Lapp brings 26 years of educational experience to Maclay specializing in Curriculum and Instruction. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Earlham College, she went on to earn a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland and a Master of Psychology from Capella University. After 13 years in the classroom and as an assistant principal, Susan co-founded an educational consulting company in Washington DC. In 2016, she then moved to Kikambala, Kenya to aid in the creation, design, and implementation of curriculum and instruction at the Mudzini School.
“I am overjoyed to be joining the Maclay School community. During my visit, I was struck by the warmth, care, and commitment to making Maclay the best. This was evident in all the conversations I had with the Student Council, parents, faculty, staff, and administrators. There is nothing more exciting to me than being a part of a great school that is always striving to be even better. Maclay School is a perfect fit for me. I can't wait for July!” said Baker-Lapp.
Milford added that he appreciates Darlene Miller and the members of the Director of Lower School Search Committee – Fran Sandon, Sarah Grant, David Low, Shana Giacchi, Liz Morales Hunter, and Mary Byrd Sims for their dedication and hard work in recommending the new Director.
“This is a crucial hire for Maclay, and I’m very pleased with the work of the hiring team. Maclay School is re-defining how we measure ourselves in the context of a rapidly changing landscape. Our Lower School is the start and the heart of the Maclay journey.” Milford continued, “We seek to measure ourselves by looking beyond Tallahassee and compete with the best schools in the nation. We strive to be a school if picked up and dropped in another major metropolitan area, we could compete head to head with other great Independent schools. We know Susan will help us get there!”