In keeping with our commitment to open and lucid communication with the Milken School community, this space will serve to inform you of activities and news relating to the search committee's endeavor to identify and recruit qualified individuals for consideration as candidates for the head of school. We approach our search for a new head with great excitement and optimism, confident that Milken will go from strength to strength and then to even greater strength. Watch this space for new information as it becomes available.
Dear Milken Community,
The Head of School Search Committee has been actively engaged in interviewing a number of candidates. We are now beginning to narrow our pool to those finalists we plan to bring to the campus in late January, early February, 2013 to meet with representative groups of stakeholders. The search committee will be in touch with members of the faculty, administration and staff, parents, students and alumni as we begin to confirm schedules for the interviews.
We will continue to keep you informed of our progress.
Jeffrey Wolman, Co-Chairman
Head of School Search Committee
Dear Milken Community,
Since our last update, the Search Committee has been hard at work reviewing several resumes. We have identified some very promising candidates. Although our earlier updates suggested a December 2012 conclusion to our search, the Committee believes that we will need more time to present to the community hopefully three candidates from which to select. It is important to remember that our task is to ultimately select a candidate that appeals to every stakeholder group in our school rather than to rigidly adhere to a self-imposed timetable. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Please look for more updates in the coming weeks.
Dear Milken Community,
I am pleased to be able to announce some wonderful news about Milken Community High School. As most of you know, in May of 2011, in its 21st year of existence, the Milken Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of Stephen S. Wise Temple voted to approve a separation between the institutions. A "Letter of Intent" was signed outlining the general terms of this agreement. Both institutions believe that this separation will strengthen the school as well as the Temple.
The actual implementation of the agreement and fine tuning the details took much longer than originally anticipated, but we are now able to announce that we have reached an understanding with regards to the terms of a pending agreement and that the transition to independence will occur on July 1, 2012. This is a wonderful achievement for both institutions and more importantly for the Los Angeles Jewish Community.
Looking forward to the future, we are in the midst of a national search for a new Head of School. We anticipate that the new Head will begin in July 2013. With that in mind we are very pleased to announce that Dr. Rennie Wrubel has agreed to serve as our Interim Head of School for the 2012-13 school year. Dr. Wrubel is well known to Milken as the visionary educator who led our school for over a decade. Her presence will assure that the school will be in excellent hands while we continue to pursue the new permanent Head.
During the past few months, I and other Board members, as well as school administrators, have received many phone calls and emails from members of our community seeking updates or just letting off some steam. As the process moved along we were sometimes unable to share details of delicate negotiations. Other times there was not much that we could tell you because there was nothing to report. It should be noted, however, that at all times our primary consideration was always the education and welfare of our students and there has never been any adverse effect on the quality of that education. That is why we have made sure that we have excellent leadership next year, even while we worked out the details of a very complex and important separation agreement. As we move forward, we intend to keep the lines of communication as open as possible while respecting the confidentiality of potential candidates for our important positions.
As you know, it was recently announced that Dr. Sarah Shulkind, our Middle School Principal, has accepted a position as the new Head of School for Sinai Akiba Academy, our second largest feeder school. We congratulate Dr. Shulkind and look forward to working with her in the future as we continue to see Sinai Akiba students coming to Milken. Her hire is not a surprise as Milken is known for its excellence and, over the years, other top administrators have moved into Head of School and other leadership positions in Jewish and independent schools across North America. We have begun a search for a new Middle School Principal and hope that we can announce a permanent or interim hire soon. This is a highly sought after position and a number of local as well as national candidates have already emerged and we will begin to go through a formal interview process after the break.
I want to thank those who have spent countless hours and resources getting us to this point. I assure our community that we will continue to put forth our collective best efforts on behalf of the school and its students. This is the beginning of a very exciting chapter in Milken’s history and we will embrace the future with bold vision as we continue to matriculate the brightest students into the finest universities across the nation.
We thank you for bearing with us during this challenging year. The good news is that our students continued to excel in their studies and our teachers and administrators never missed a beat in their endeavors. We could not be prouder of them, as we look to an even brighter and more exciting future.
All my best for a happy Passover.
Aaron J. Leibovic
President, Board of Trustees
Milken Community High School
Update: 3-23-12: We have begun our HOS search in earnest. We have every expectation that our schedule will be met in a timely fashion: (i) Search Committee interviews of multiple candidates by the fall with the goal of (ii) inviting three candidates back to our campus for meetings with groups of faculty, administrators, parents, students, alumnae and Board members to (iii) make a ranking of candidates for the Board of Trustees to decide on the new HOS in December 2012. The Search Committee is working on making sure that the process is streamlined and the results are everything that our school deserves.
The following individuals have volunteered their time and expertise in forming a committee to oversee the search for a new Head of School.
Thomas C. Boysen, Ph.D.
Aaron J. Leibovic
Janine Winkler Lowy
Stephen Marmer, M.D. *Co-Chair
Farid Pakravan, D.D.S
Susan Plutsky, Ph.D.
Rabbi Laurence Scheindlin
Susan Jacoby Stern, J.D.
Julie Weil, J.D.
Jeffrey Wolman *Co-Chair
For your perusal, a biographical sketch for each member follows.
Dr. Thomas C. Boysen, Education Consultant, has served with distinction as a teacher and administrator in the schools of five states. He began teaching in a remote boarding school in Kenya. Later he served as a school superintendent for 20 years in Washington State, New York and California, culminating in his work as San Diego County Superintendent of Schools. As the first Kentucky Commissioner of Education, Dr. Boysen led the implementation of the landmark Kentucky Education Reform Act. After leaving Kentucky, Dr. Boysen has served as senior vice president of the Milken Family Foundation, chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Unified School District, Chief Schools Officer of K12 Inc., an online learning company and Chief Learning Officer of GlobalScholar, a learning systems company. Dr. Boysen has served on numerous national boards and commissions and speaks and writes on school reform matters. Dr. Boysen received his bachelor's degree from Stanford University and his doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Nona Farahnik graduated from Milken in 2004. She began her Jewish Day School education at Sinai Akiba Academy. She is a Duke University alum, and sits on the board of the Freeman Center for Jewish Life. She is currently in her third year at Columbia Law School, where she is President of the Student Senate. Two of Nona's siblings graduated from Milken, and her youngest is soon to attend.
Rachel Farahnik has been a parent at Stephen S. Wise Temple for over 10 years and at Milken Community High School for over 3 years. During that time she has been involved in numerous activities such as Co-chair of the annual giving committee, head room parent, class representative, Purim carnival co-chair and numerous other smaller committees. Rachel is very involved with the daily happenings at both schools and spends a lot of time at both locations talking to students, other parents, faculty and administrators. Rachel received her accounting degree for Cal State Northridge and does a lot of work with various Jewish agencies throughout Los Angeles.
Aaron Leibovic is currently president of the Milken Community High School Board of Trustees. He has been a member of the board for the past 11 years where he has served in various executive capacities. He is a past Chair of the Sinai Akiba Day School Committee and was a member of the Sinai Temple Board of Trustees where he served in various capacities including Treasurer and Vice President of Education, responsible for the Day School, Religious School, Pre-School as well as the Temple Library. He is currently also a member of the Advisory Board for the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. He and his wife Sheila are passionate about Jewish Education and Jewish Camping. Their three daughters are products of Sinai Akiba as well as Camp Ramah and Milken Community High School which graduated their youngest daughter in 2011. Aaron is the founder and CEO of Health Advocates LLC, a healthcare company representing hospitals throughout the state of California. He is also the managing partner of Leibovic Law Group, LLP.
Janine Winkler Lowy In addition to serving on the Head of School Search Committee, Janine serves on the Milken Community High School's Board of Trustees. She has held multiple communal leadership roles, including serving on the boards of Camp Ramah in California, the American Friends of Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art, the Bureau of Jewish Education, the Center for Jewish Education at the American Jewish University, and the Education Cabinet of Pressman Academy of Temple Beth Am. Janine and her husband, Peter, are strong supporters of Jewish day schools of all religious affiliations, their synagogues, Camp Ramah, and Jewish day school educational programs nationwide.
Jewish educational programs made possible by their support include: The Advanced Jewish Studies Center and the Tiferet Israel Fellows program at Milken Community High School; programs at the Etta Israel Center benefiting special needs children; the Jewish Federation’s Tel Aviv/L.A. Partnership’s Education Twinning Program, Camp Ramah in California’s Camper Incentive Program, PEJE’s Financial Management Conferences for Day Schools and its Leadership and Fundraising Academy; The BJE’s Hebrew Immersion training program, the Generations program, and the Master of Arts in Teaching for Working Professionals program at the American Jewish University. They also support scholars and research programs at the Washington Institute, RAND and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Janine Winkler Lowy holds a BA, LLB, from the University of New South Wales and practiced law in Australia before moving to the United States. She is currently completing her studies toward a Master in Liberal Studies at USC. Janine and Peter have four children, Simonette, Jacqueline, Benjamin, and Caroline. Simonette, Jacqueline and Benjamin are MCHS graduates. Caroline currently attends the ninth grade.
Dr. Stephen Marmer has been a member of the Milken Community High School Board of Trustees from its inception, served as Board President, as Chair of the Search Committee that led to the hiring of Rennie Wrubel, and currently is Vice President of Strategic Planning. His daughter Millicent graduated from Milken Community High School in 2000 and his daughter Penelope in 2003. Professionally he is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst with a private practice in Brentwood and is also on the Senior Clinical Faculty of the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, where he teaches second and third year medical students and supervises Psychiatry Residents. He has won numerous teaching awards from UCLA, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychoanalytic Association. Dr. Marmer also served for fifteen years on the Executive Board of Stephen S. Wise Temple. He is presently working on the second draft of his Torah Commentary to be published in 2012-13.
Dr. Farid Pakravan attended UCLA for his undergraduate studies and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of the Pacific in San Francisco, CA.
Dr. Pakravan is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization. YPO is an organization of young executives dedicated in developing better leaders through education and idea exchange. He is an active member of the leadership group of the Republican Jewish Coalition, ADA and CDA Organizations. He serves on the Board of Directors of Milken Community High School, as well as the Board of Directors of Israel Air Force Foundation Affiliation.
Dr. Pakravan is married with four children and resides in Brentwood, CA. Three of his children attend Stephen S. Wise Temple and one daughter attends Milken Community Middle School.
Dr. Susan Plutsky has been a parent at Stephen S. Wise Temple schools for 15 years. From fundraising to search and screen to social committees, she has been and continues to be actively involved. Her most notable service is Annual Giving; she’s been a representative for 13 years and was co-chair for the past 2 years. Susan is also a Vice President of Milken Community High School’s Board of Trustees, a Milken Mart mom, and a docent.
Susan is active outside the Stephen S. Wise and Milken communities. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Harmony Project, which raises money to provide at-risk children with free musical instruments, lessons, and performance opportunities. She also serves on the Executive Board for Brentwood Country Club’s Women’s Golf Association.
Susan has a Ph.D. from Arizona State University. She was a professor in the College of Business Administration at California State University, Northridge for 24 years and is now a professor emeritus.
Rabbi Laurence Scheindlin has served as headmaster of Sinai Akiba Academy since 1977, during which time the school has grown from 170 to over 700 students. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he holds rabbinical ordination and a masters in Hebrew literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and earned a M.Ed. at UCLA. As president of the Schechter Day School Network he led the organization toward initial fulfillment on an ambitious strategic plan, and he continues to serve on the Network board. He has served as chair of the LA Day School Principals Council, as a Davidson School Field Mentor and has chaired many accreditation teams for independent schools in California. A recipient of the Milken Outstanding Educator Award, he has published articles on education, emotions and spirituality in academic and general publications. He has conducted numerous workshops and courses in school administration, the teaching of prayer and spirituality and curriculum theory.
Susan Jacoby Stern has been active in Jewish educational organizations for many years. She has served on the Milken Community High School Board of Trustees for six years, currently serving as an Officer. At Sinai Akiba Academy, she was Chair of the Education Committee for three years and a long-standing member of the Sinai Akiba Academy Board. On the community level, she was the recent Chair of the Los Angeles-Tel Aviv School Twinning Program, a Vice-President and current Director on the BJE Board, and a member of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation's Informal and Formal Education Committee.
Susan is the parent of two Milken graduates and a current tenth grade student. She is a parent volunteer and supporter of the MCHS Performing Arts Program. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Julie A. Weil and her husband, Peter, have two children; their son is in 10th grade at Milken Community High School and their daughter is in 8th grade at Brentwood School. Julie also has two grown step-children.
Julie has been a member of the Board of Trustees at Milken Community High School for the past 3 years. She co-chairs the Milken WASC Academic Program Sub-Committee and is a participant in many activities and committees at both Milken Community High School as well as Brentwood School.
Julie is passionate about education and she is a strong supporter of Israel. Along with her husband, she is actively involved in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the American Jewish Committee, the Skirball Cultural Center, the University of Wisconsin and the UW Hillel.
Julie has a B.S. from the University of Illinois, Cum Laude with Distinction in Psychology. She received her Juris Doctor from Northwestern University Law School. Julie has worked in several major law firms, as a production attorney for Touchstone and Disney Pictures and has served as the General Counsel for the Warner Bros. Studio Store Division.
Jeff Wolman is the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee at Milken Community High School and Co-Chair of the Search Committee. He is also a member of the Transition Committee negotiating the separation from Stephen S. Wise Temple and the Co-Chair of the Milken Community High School WASC Committee for Budget and Development. Jeffrey is the immediate past Chair of the Sinai Akiba Academy Committee, the governing body of Sinai Akiba Academy. He has served on the Milken Community High School Board of Trustees for two years. Jeffrey and Lesley Wolman moved to the United States from Canada in 1992 and have two children, their son a graduate of Milken Community High School and their daughter a 2011-2012 freshman. Jeff is an attorney and an accountant and does business management primarily for people in the entertainment business.