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A Coeducational School | Early Learners to Third Grade

Beauvoir's Courtney Coyne Simchak Named Assistant Head of School for Student and Academic Affairs

After a comprehensive, international search, Courteney Coyne Simchak, Ed.D. has accepted the position of Assistant Head of School for Student and Academic Affairs at Beauvoir, effective July 1, 2022.

Head of School Cindi Gibbs-Wilborn reflected, “There was an extraordinary response to this search with numerous impressive, qualified candidates. In the end, the deciding factor was Courteney’s commitment to early childhood curriculum design coupled with institutional growth and success. I am honored that Courteney will be joining Beauvoir’s administration next year.”

Dr. Simchak, who joined Beauvoir in 2014, not only brings stellar academic credentials, leadership roles, and teaching experience to this important position but also a lived understanding of the school’s mission. “I choose to teach at Beauvoir because it is a place where childhood is valued, celebrated, and preserved each day.”

Since her arrival at Beauvoir eight years ago, Dr. Simchak has been a First Grade Partner Teacher, engaging her students with creative lessons and active learning experiences. In anticipation of Global Studies 2019: South America, Dr. Simchak traveled to Peru; embraced its culture, customs, and people; and returned to recreate the Inca Road with her students.

The consummate educator, Dr. Simchak served four years as chair of the Professional Development Committee, analyzing multiyear participation data towards designing a mentoring program for faculty and staff. Her expertise extended to the Board of Governors as Faculty Representative, relaying her colleagues’ perspectives and providing thoughtful and keen observations. Dr. Simchak’s role on the Strategic Planning Task Force, which coincided with her Board service, provided a unique “opportunity to examine Beauvoir’s strategic priorities”. She looks forward to bringing “the Strategic Plan 2025 into the everyday life of the school and making the plan’s priorities accessible to multiple constituent groups.“

Prior to Beauvoir, Dr. Simchak was a Third and Fourth Grade Lead Teacher of the Spanish component at Escuela Amigos School, a bilingual, bicultural setting in Cambridge, MA. While simultaneously ensuring a high level of instruction, Dr. Simchak collaborated on a social curriculum fostering student-resolved conflicts and founded the Amigos Student Council, encouraging leadership and service opportunities.

Dr. Simchak earned her Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from The George Washington University’s (DC) Graduate School of Education and Human Development; M.Ed. in teaching and curriculum, specifically, elementary education and teaching English language learners, from the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College (MA), where she was named a Donovan Urban Teaching Scholar; and a B.A. in educational, Hispanic, and international studies, with a minor in human rights from Trinity College (CT). Dr. Simchak has contributed to research publications and presentations related to practice-based teacher education programs, the subject of her doctoral dissertation; equality and inclusivity in education; and STEM and the digital divide. The latter was the focus of Dr. Simchak’s participation in a National Science Foundation funded project.

“I look forward to acting as a catalyst for Beauvoir’s next chapter of growth and excellence,” shared Dr. Simchak, “building upon our history and foundation and helping to ensure Beauvoir remains the leader in early childhood education for decades to come.”
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At Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School, we provide an extraordinary early childhood education in a diverse community that values every individual. Beauvoir’s program encourages creative, courageous learners and builds an enduring foundation for a lifelong spirit of inquiry and joy in learning.
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