Dear Shlenker Community,
Almost fourteen months ago, Ricki Komiss announced her plan to retire at the end of the 2017-2018 school year following twenty years of visionary leadership and devoted service as Shlenker’s Head of School. The search for Ricki’s successor began immediately and culminated Monday evening at a special meeting of the Board of Trustees. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, it is with much excitement that I announce Shlenker’s next Head of School, Michelle Barton. Her tenure will begin in July of 2018.
Michelle joins us from the Rabbi Jacob Pressman Academy ("Pressman”) in Los Angeles where she currently serves as the Elementary School Principal overseeing both general and Judaic studies faculty. Pressman is a conservative Jewish day school that is affiliated with Temple Beth Am and which enrolls approximately 475 students in early childhood through eighth grade. Prior to her appointment as Principal, Michelle served for five years as Lead Teacher in third grade and for one year as Literacy Coordinator.
Michelle received her B.A. cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and earned Dean’s Honor’s List. Michelle is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Education in the Educational Leadership Program at UCLA and expects to receive her degree during the summer of 2018. Additionally, she is fluent in Hebrew.
In addition to her impeccable educational background, Michelle furthered her preparation for Jewish Day School education and leadership through the Reform Movement, at Hebrew Union College’s Jewish Institute for Religion (HUC-JIR), where she was a Day School Leadership through Teaching (DeLeT) Fellow. She currently serves as a guest lecturer and course instructor.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to express our sincere gratitude to all of you for your interest,
While Michelle and her husband, Brandon, will not arrive permanently in Houston until this summer, she will visit the Shlenker campus this spring to aid in a smooth transition, a process that already is underway. I hope that each and every one of you will join me in welcoming Michelle and Brandon to the Shlenker School and the greater Houston communities. I have the utmost confidence that with Michelle’s inspiration, warmth and collaboration, Shlenker will continue to Ignite a Spark in every child.
Chair, Board of Trustees