The big change for me was just how kind everyone was — how concerned the teachers were for my well being.
Director of Program Planning
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- Stuart Hall Memory
It is no coincidence that a Stuart Hall for Boys alumnus and longtime teacher at Convent of the Sacred Heart on 91st Street in New York is now in charge of inter-school programming for all Sacred Heart Schools in the US and Canada.
Ian Humphreys SHB'69 is just beginning a new role within the Network of Sacred Heart Schools: Director of Program Planning. He brings a unique vantage to this new role in the Network, having seen its growth first hand over the past couple of decades.
"Ian comes from Stuart Hall, and as a male graduate, that's a somewhat new experience in the context of Sacred Heart education," says Ann Marie Krejcarek, President of Convent & Stuart Hall. "He also comes from 91st street — an all-girls Sacred Heart school — which creates an incredible opportunity to have someone with both experiences."
In his new role, Ian is responsible for planning and executing programs for the 24 Network schools, which share the mission and philosophy of the Five Goals & Criteria of Sacred Heart education. He will examine how the faculty and students in those schools meet and interact. For example, he said, how might social studies teachers come together to talk about how to incorporate the Sacred Heart values in the curriculum?
To answer such questions, Ian will work closely with the Network Board — which includes a few Network school heads, including Ann Marie — to ensure that teachers and student leaders are equipped to embrace the Sacred Heart experience in the best way possible. He will also visit all 24 schools, and his first stop will be in San Francisco on September 21 to meet with the Convent & Stuart Hall Board of Trustees, as well as groups of students and teachers. Here, Ian will share one of his many goals: to serve even the most experienced teachers by creating forums where they can talk about what it means to be a Sacred Heart educator.
Ian's first experience with Sacred Heart educators came when he enrolled at Stuart Hall for Boys at age 10 after his family relocated to SF from Australia. He came here from an all-boys school that he describes as being a little terse. "The big change for me was just how kind everyone was — how concerned the teachers were for my well being," Ian says.
In 1988, armed with a background in archeology and degrees from UC Berkeley and Drew University, Ian took a position at 91st Street teaching ancient world history, soon becoming the History Chair. While there, he became involved in the Network as a faculty representative on the Sacred Heart Commission on Goals team. For six years, he traveled to Network schools with small teams of RSCJ, teachers and trustees for the formal review process that each school conducted periodically to reflect on how well they live the vision of Sacred Heart education. After 27 years on 91st street, Ian now steps out of the classroom, and out of his school, in order to improve the connections between his colleagues nationwide.
Ian's appointment comes at an exciting time for the Society of the Sacred Heart and for its Network of Schools. The Network leadership was recently restructured into two divisions: One that oversees governance of Sacred Heart schools, led by Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ; the other is led by Ian and is focused more on the specific programs that can support Network initiatives. Previously, an Executive Director had to divide her time to support both functions.
Since his recent appointment, Ian has already heard from teachers and staff at Network schools who would like to see a once-popular student leadership conference revived. He realizes the importance of giving student leaders a platform and is already forming plans for what he calls a Life Conference, which would appeal to students, as well as teachers and administrators.
In her second term on the Network board, Ann Marie looks forward to the working with Ian and is confident that he will "help concentrate the value of why the Network exists, while leveraging the power of all Network schools to strengthen programs that benefit everyone."