Memo: to the Independent School Community

Posted October 25, 2012


The Board of the Edward E. Ford Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of John C. Gulla as the next Executive Director of the Foundation. John will begin his leadership of the Foundation on July 1, 2013. The appointment is the result of a national search that attracted candidates with exceptional leadership qualities from the independent school community and the broader education community.

John was the distinguished head of the Blake School from 1998 through June 2012. During that time, he developed a record of outstanding educational leadership, one that led to significant enhancements to all aspects of the Blake School, a nationally recognized coeducational school. In addition, he has been involved with collaborative efforts to improve both independent schools and schooling for all students. References spoke of his thoughtful participation in regional and national associations as well as his creative leadership of his own school. John has had significant involvement with the Breakthrough Collaborative, which focuses on urban middle school students, and the Fund for Teachers, which seeks to develop ways to enhance professional development for teachers. In his work at Blake and in his involvement with national organizations, John Gulla has embraced many of the themes that are at the basis of the work of the Edward E. Ford Foundation. He wholeheartedly endorses the concept of looking for ways to develop public partnerships in which independent schools can play a significant role.

Prior to his work at Blake, John held major leadership positions at Riverdale Country School, Isidore Newman School, and St. Ann’s School. He did his undergraduate work at Amherst College with a double major in Physics and Psychology and earned a Master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University with a concentration in Philosophy and the Social Sciences. John and his wife, Andrea, live in New York City.

Established by Edward E. Ford in 1957, the Foundation seeks to strengthen and support independent secondary schools throughout the United States. The recently developed mission statement reasserts this historic mission while also recognizing expanded opportunities for independent schools today to leverage their unique talents, expertise and resources to advance teaching and learning throughout the country. The Foundation has been a consistent advocate for and supporter of thoughtful innovation. Walter Burgin, Chair of the Foundation Board, commented on the appointment of John Gulla: “ We believe that John is an extraordinary educator whose intelligence, passion for education, and energy are ideal to help the Board address the challenges and opportunities they see for themselves and for independent schools.”

When he begins his work in July, John will build upon the outstanding accomplishments of Bob Hallett, the Executive Director for the past decade.

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