We are pleased to announce that Terell Cooper-Edwards will be Hewitt’s next head of lower school, effective July 1, 2020. Terell eagerly looks forward to joining the Hewitt community next year to work alongside our wonderful lower school teachers, families, and students in kindergarten through fourth grade.
After a highly competitive search process that included on-campus interviews, classroom visits, and a thorough review of feedback submitted by faculty, staff, families, and the Search Committee, we are delighted to have recruited a highly accomplished educator with extensive knowledge of and experience in New York City independent schools.
For the past 14 years, Terell has worked at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, where she currently serves as assistant head of lower school and dean of students. Prior to this, Terell was Poly Prep’s director of associate and student teacher programs. Before moving into leadership roles, Terell taught second and third grade at Poly Prep and taught first grade at The Brearley School.
Terell has an impressive track record of critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, and values-based leadership. Her experience as an administrator includes managing the hiring, placement, and training of new teachers; planning and facilitating faculty meetings; leading in-house workshops and coordinating professional development days; and reviewing curricula and events focused on diversity, equity, and social justice. She led efforts to ensure the full lower school curriculum’s alignment with the school’s mission and to improve students’ social-emotional wellbeing and academic growth. Having served in a variety of roles, Terell brings to Hewitt an impressive breadth of knowledge and deep, relevant experience that we believe have uniquely prepared her to successfully lead Hewitt’s lower school.
At the heart of Terell’s educational philosophy is a belief that all children have a “natural curiosity, an innate desire to learn, and a need to explore” and that “educators must create child-centered and differentiated learning opportunities that prepare students to thrive in a dynamic world.” Whether working with faculty to build innovative and transformative learning experiences into the curriculum, establishing ways for faculty to learn from one another and grow in their pedagogical practice, or fostering strong partnerships with students and their parents and guardians, Terell’s actions mirror her beliefs. An alumna of The Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, Terell graduated from Amherst College, where she earned her B.A. in sociology, and she holds a Master’s Degree in literacy and general education from Bank Street College of Education in New York City.
In the coming months, Terell, Interim Head of Lower School Mary Anne Sacco, and Head of School Tara Christie Kinsey will begin a transition process to ensure stability and continuity in our lower school. For the remainder of the academic year, Terell will visit Hewitt from time to time, getting to know our community and beginning to plan with the lower school team. We will also host an event in the spring for parents to get acquainted with Terell.
We are extraordinarily grateful to the Search Committee members for the significant time, energy, and thought they devoted to this process and to our community of parents, faculty, and staff for their engagement throughout our search. Our community’s thoughtful attention, questions, and feedback have so clearly shown their investment in and care for our school and its exciting future.
Please join us in congratulating and warmly welcoming Terell to Hewitt as the next leader of our lower school.