Cyndy Jean Appointed as Assistant Head of School for Community and Inclusivity

Cyndy Jean, Director of the Middle School, will become Assistant Head of School for Community and Inclusivity, effective July 1, 2021.

Dear Hackley Community,

I am writing to share the exciting news that Cyndy Jean, Director of the Middle School, will become Assistant Head of School for Community and Inclusivity, effective July 1, 2021. In this capacity, Ms. Jean will serve as Hackley’s first ever senior-level diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leader, overseeing DEI, community service, and service-learning programs. Establishing and staffing this role fulfills a key objective of Hackley’s DEI plan, which I shared a few weeks ago. With Ms. Jean’s promotion, I will hire a new Director of the Middle School to begin on July 1, 2021.

Although I initially planned to run a national search, Ms. Jean indicated her interest in the position. After several conversations exploring this possibility with her, I soon realized that the best candidate was already at Hackley and on the Leadership Team.

Currently in her fourteenth year at Hackley, Ms. Jean has distinguished herself as an educator and leader committed to partnering with students, families, alumni, and colleagues to ensure that Hackley delivers on our mission. Her roots as a teacher - first as a Lower School Assistant Teacher and then as a Middle School English teacher and dean - ground her understanding of the school and our culture in the classroom. She is widely admired and respected, perhaps by none more than her students, as evidenced by being presented the “Hilltop Award” in 2018 by those members of the class who attended Hackley from kindergarten through 12th grade (aka “lifers”).

Central to her future success in this role, Ms. Jean approaches all of her work with the mindset of a learner. She is eager to always understand issues, events, and people, integrating new information and perspectives into her understanding and informing future decisions. Evidence of her love of learning can be found in the myriad professional development experiences she has pursued, as well as in the presentations she has delivered for others at numerous state, regional, and national conferences. Most recently, Ms. Jean began work on a doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania and is pursuing a dissertation topic directly related to DEI work.

I have great admiration for Ms. Jean’s accomplishments and her personal sense of integrity, and through our work together, I know I can depend on her judgement, counsel, and candor. Ms. Jean understands Hackley’s culture and lives out our core values: Enter Here to Be and Find a Friend; United, We Help One Another; Character is Higher than Intellect; Go Forth and Spread Beauty and Light. Her current leadership of the Executive DEI Team and her schoolwide purview as a member of the Leadership Team will be tremendous assets in this new role. I am also pleased that the timing of this announcement and appointment enables Ms. Jean to transition into this role, while also supporting a transition in the leadership of the Middle School.

Please join me in congratulating Cyndy Jean on her appointment as Assistant Head of School for Community and Inclusivity. I am excited to continue partnering with Ms. Jean in this work in the years ahead. In a subsequent communication prior to winter break, I will share more information regarding a search for a new Director of the Middle School.


Michael C. Wirtz P ’29 ’31