Leading Tampa Bay Pk-8 private school puts respected educator with strong focus on experiential learning at the helm
Largo, FL (June 28, 2022) — Country Day School (CDS) has appointed Michelle Brown as its new Head of School. An experienced education leader, Brown will assume responsibilities on July 1, succeeding Ted Gillette. As CDS and its affiliated campuses grow to serve more families throughout the Tampa Bay area, Gillette will transition his focus to strategic expansion opportunities and new education initiatives.
Brown began working at CDS in 2016 as a math teacher before being promoted to Director of the World School program, which serves students in the fourth through eighth grade. Her professional career has also included postgraduate research in education and teaching at the high school and university levels.
As Head of School, Brown will be stewarding the post-COVID return of CDS leadership in experiential learning with enhanced opportunities for students in global studies, animal science and related interdisciplinary studies. CDS is one of the only Pk-8 schools in the U.S. where students study both Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, travel internationally and participate in International Model UN with schools from around the world. Additionally, the CDS Animal Science program is a model of excellence in experiential learning where students care for numerous barn animals on campus while studying anatomy, physiology, genetics, data science and other advanced science topics.
“The last few years have emphasized the importance of getting students out of the classroom and back into real-world experiences,” said Gillette. “This is a pivotal time in education and CDS is poised to be a model of innovation and best practices as Michelle Brown takes on this role. She embodies all of the critical strengths to keep us at the forefront of education while supporting our students, families, faculty and staff.”
Kathy Carley, Director of Instruction and Student Learning, added, “Michelle’s well-rounded experience as both an educator and leader within our organization made her the clear fit for this role. We have full confidence in her ability to lead us into the future while maintaining our nurturing and inspiring environment here at CDS.”
As a passionate educator and academic, Brown has made numerous contributions to education, having presented papers at leading conferences, including the Annual Critical Questions in Education Conference, the Annual Eastern Educational Research Conference, and the Annual Florida Council of Independent Schools conference.
Brown earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Statistics from Missouri State University. While pursuing her degree, she discovered her passion for education while tutoring students in math. She then went on to earn a Masters in Secondary Education and Mathematics. She also holds a postgraduate Specialist in Education Leadership degree, which involved completing doctoral course work with a focus on curriculum, instruction and assessment.
“The CDS community means so much to me and I am absolutely honored for the opportunity to lead this amazing school,” said Brown. “Our passionate teachers and staff are truly the foundation of CDS and I look forward to working more closely with each of our team members in providing the best possible educational outcomes for our students.”
About Country Day School:
Founded in 1974, Country Day School is an internationally recognized private school distinguished for its leading Montessori Program, advanced World School Program, Spanish/Mandarin Program, and Equestrian/Animal Science Programs.