The Neighborhood Academy Welcomes Gary J. Niels
The Neighborhood Academy announced on Friday, April 20, 2018 the appointment of Gary J. Neils as the new school President beginning with the 2018/2019 school year.
Gary is an exceptionally experienced educator with an expansive background of success in private school education. Most recently, he served for 16 years as head of school for Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside. His accomplishments at Winchester and other private schools where he has worked will greatly benefit TNA and our students.
“For many years I have been inspired by the vision of Jodie and Tom in founding this school that transforms the lives of underserved inner-city students in Pittsburgh. The opportunity to play a leadership role at The Neighborhood Academy is a dream come true. Moreover, the strategic plan that was carried out by the Board provides a clear blueprint for the school’s future direction. As I wind down my career at Winchester Thurston I am humbled and excited about the opportunity to team with the fine leaders at The Neighborhood Academy to continue to strengthen the program and its impact on the lives of these outstanding future leaders,” said Gary.
The addition of someone with Gary’s credentials to TNA’s leadership is the result of the strategic planning process recently completed by the Board of Directors. The process included interviews with a significant number of school stakeholders, as well as an extensive review of school performance data.
Based on that analysis, the Board of Directors identified four Strategic Objectives for 2018-2020:
• Financial stability;
• Updating/reaffirming our mission;
• Increasing our students’ success; and
• Ensuring that we attract, develop, and retain high quality talent at The Neighborhood Academy.
The first step in accomplishing our priority of talent attraction and retention is to hire an experienced private school educator as President of The Neighborhood Academy. We are very pleased that an educator of Gary’s caliber will be leading our school.
Mark Kurtzrock’s role since becoming President in September 2016 has been to be the ‘transitionary leader’ for the next generation of school leadership, and Gary is the perfect person to bring that plan full circle. Additionally, this is not necessarily a ‘good bye’; Mark will be assisting Gary in his transition through the end of the calendar year, as well as rejoining the Board of Directors as a full voting member.