On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to formally introduce Johnathan Letcher to the Ann Arbor community as the next Summers-Knoll Head of School. Johnathan is joining us after serving as head of school for the American School of Creative Science in Al Barsha, Dubai.
Johnathan comes to us with an exciting educational and professional background, including a graduate degree from Johns Hopkins University: an MS in School leadership and Business. Johnathan taught for 11 years in some of the most respected school systems in the US including Montgomery County and Loudoun County Schools. Toward the later years of his teaching career, Johnathan saw first hand the impact of project-based learning (PBL) by teaching his students through three-month projects that synthesized all subjects into a captivating and holistic experience for his students. This experience demonstrated the power of PBL and its potential impact to create students’ love for learning. Johnathan dove into the studies of John Dewey, Caroline Pratt, and Ken Robinson, and formed his philosophy on what all children should experience in school: daily opportunities to think critically, collaborate, speak authentically, and discover self-efficacy. As Johnathan transitioned into school leadership, he insisted on PBL as a central philosophy.
Johnathan believes that “project-based learning should not be a luxury but it is a necessity for today’s students to prepare themselves to be flexible, adaptable, collaborative, have emotional intelligence, with an entrepreneurial spirit.” Since February, Johnathan has met with several parents, teachers, and students. In doing so, he has noted that Summers-Knoll embodies its core values daily. Through multiple conversations and observations, he has witnessed that we live up to what Summers-Knoll holds most dear: children who are prepared to make their mark on the world. He has also stated how impressed he is with the teaching staff. Johnathan is excited to learn from and collaborate with our talented educators.
Johnathan believes in empowering staff and utilizing fixed end goals that are flexible on the journey. He believes in transparent communication and seeks varied perspectives for the sole purpose to understand each other and find common ground. Johnathan’s experience in developing and implementing project-based learning curriculum, combined with his personal beliefs make him an excellent leader to help us continue to deliver on our mission: Summers-Knoll School exists to prepare children for the future through a challenging academic program that considers the whole child in a supportive, encouraging, and joyful environment.
On the personal side, Johnathan was born in Washington, DC, where he attended independent schools including a small (70 students) school named Parkmont. Johnathan comes from a family of educators: both parents and grandparents were educators. His grandfather started an art school in Washington DC named the Letcher Art School. Johnathan is married to his wife, Felecia, who is also an International Head of School and they have two adult children and one eight-year-old daughter who is excited to attend Summers-Knoll. In his leisure, Johnathan enjoys international travel, fine cooking, attending lectures and debates on social science and behavioral economics, working out, golfing, road biking, and has committed to learning how to play the guitar now that he’s made it to Ann Arbor.
Summers-Knoll School Board of Trustees