Park City Day School hires permanent head of school
Official says hiring of Ian Crossland is easiest decision school has ever made
Each time the committee tasked with finding a permanent head of school for the Park City Day School narrowed its search, Ian Crossland’s name kept rising to the top.
Last week, the school made it official, announcing the hiring of Crossland, who will take over for interim head of school Bruce Shoup next July. Crossland, who earned a master’s degree in education from Harvard University, currently serves as head of school at Colegio Los Nogales, a school in Bogotá, Columbia.
Rick Nemeroff, chair of the school’s board of trustees and co-chair of the search committee, said Crossland’s experience and passion for education made him the ideal candidate. The committee sees Crossland as someone who can lead the school into the next phase of its evolution.
“We feel exceptionally lucky to have found somebody who has both the background and experience in education and in teaching,” he said. “You just don’t find that. The serendipity of being able to do that was wonderful. We just really found ourselves embarrassed by our good fortune to have someone like that available to us.”
Crossland said the prospect of joining the Park City Day School is exciting. He and his wife are both from the western United States, and they are viewing it as an opportunity to come home after spending six years in Colombia.
“We started exploring it, and at each phase of the process, it felt right,” he said. “To be a little more specific, I think it’s a school with some things that are really going for it.”
One of the most impressive aspects of the school was its tight-knit nature, Crossland said. As an educator, he said, he is drawn to schools where teachers and students have close relationships.
His first task will be to get to know the school and the Park City community, he said.
“I really am going to take that as my first big job, is to get there and listen to the students, the faculty, the parents and start to see what’s going on inside and outside the classroom,” he said. “From that, I can work with the board to set some clear and ambitious goals for the years ahead.”
Crossland will come to Park City armed with the experience of leading a school in a foreign country. He first was recruited to Colombia to teach at Colegio Los Nogales, then he took over as head of school, a role he’s held since 2013. It’s given him a unique perspective on education and allowed him to give his young children a taste of another culture.
“It’s been an even richer experience than he imagined,” he said.
Crossland stood out among the more than 20 candidates the school considered for the job, Nemeroff said. And it wasn’t just the committee that was impressed. The school brought in three finalists for in-person visits, then asked teachers, parents and students to fill out surveys about the candidates. Crossland was unanimously chosen as the top choice.
Ultimately, Nemeroff said, it was the easiest decision the board of trustees ever made.
“It just became clear that, among all the candidates we had seen and the three finalists, he clearly rose to the top,” he said. “With the way he engaged with the teachers and the students and the administration and the parents, we on the search committee really felt like it clicked.”
Nemeroff added that he and everyone else at the school are eager for Crossland to begin in July.
“It just gives us a tremendous amount of comfort knowing that all of the things we’ve been doing for the past year have been moving the school forward in a very positive way,” he said. “That’s what we’re supposed to be doing. Ian takes us to that next level.”
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