The Lion's Tale

Middle school principal appointed

Amelia Davidson, News Editor

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Following a multi-step search process, CESJDS announced that Eliana Lipsky will be the next middle school principal. The appointment came on April 25, three months after Rebecca Weisman, the current middle school principal, announced that she would leave the school after the 2016-2017 school year.

Lipsky is currently spending the year in Israel, and will officially begin her job as principal on July 17, when she returns to the United States.

“I am absolutely thrilled to join the CESJDS community. I have heard such wonderful things about CESJDS and the community for many years now and am honored that CESJDS would entrust such an important job to me,” Lipsky said in an email.

Lipsky grew up attending a Jewish day school in Houston, and since then has worked in Jewish education in cities across the U.S. She taught Judaic studies for a year in Phoenix and then worked as a teacher at a Jewish middle school in Boston for five years. While in Boston she also served as mentor for new teachers, which laid the foundation for her future career as a teaching coach.

Most recently, Lipsky worked as a consultant for an organization that serves around 15 Jewish schools in Chicago. While consulting in Chicago, Lipsky also received a doctorate in education. Her thesis focused on Jewish education, specifically how to balance the voices of students with text in Judaic classes.

Lipsky finished her doctorate in 2015, and spent the 2016-2017 year in Israel with her family. It was there that she applied for a job with JDS. In addition to having friends who had attended JDS and had “amazing things to say about it,” Lipsky said that she was attracted to the position due to the current plans with the middle school.

“People in my life had been talking about it as a school that was definitely at the forefront of Jewish education and doing right by students and teachers and faculty, so that was the first thing [that I liked about the school],” Lipsky said. “The most attractive thing about the school was that the way the middle school is headed and the path it’s taking is exactly the path that I’ve done a lot of work on in my past as a teacher and as a teacher coach.”

Head of School Mitchel Malkus said that Lipsky stood out in every stage of the search process. According to Malkus, Lipsky’s background fits the school’s needs.

“She is a fabulous educator and has a very strong background in education,” Malkus said. “She is maybe even a more progressive educator than we are at the school, but that is the direction in which the middle school has been moving, so we felt that she would be a good fit to bring us to where we hope to be.”

Seventh-grader Hannah Davis hopes that having a new principal will bring more changes the middle school.

“I’m excited that there’s going to be a new principal because I want to see the changes that they’re going to make to the middle school,” Davis said. “I hope to see changes with the schedule and getting to know the rest of the middle school better.”
Malkus echoed Davis’ optimism and said that he appreciated the direction in which Lipsky could take the middle school.

“I think she’s going to challenge us as a school to make sure that what we’re doing reflects our conception of what a middle school should be,” Malkus said.

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