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Retiring local school leaders reflect on tenures
by Nicole Dow
May 14, 2014 12:59 PM | 4664 views | 1 1 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / Janet Reinertsen, director of St. Anne's Day School, smiles in the new outdoor classroom at the school.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / Janet Reinertsen, director of St. Anne's Day School, smiles in the new outdoor classroom at the school.
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Gene Bratek
Gene Bratek
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Bill Clarkson
Bill Clarkson
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There will be changes of leadership at three Atlanta schools — Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, St. Anne’s Day School and the Westminster Schools — as their headmasters and directors retire at the end of the 2013-14 academic year.

Janet Reinertsen, who has served as director of St. Anne’s in Buckhead for the past 36 years, said she will miss the educators, parents and children, who range from 4 months to 6 years.

“We have had more than 10 families whom I knew when they were preschoolers and their children are now here,” she said. “That’s been an incredible opportunity to really be a part of people’s lives.”

Some of the accomplishments during her tenure include renovating the entire school and converting from a traditional education model to the Reggio-Emilia approach, which Reinertsen describes as a more progressive, organic learning model that supports the exploration and competency of students.

Reinertsen said her “swan song” has been developing an outdoor classroom for the school, which is in the final stages of construction.

She said she hopes to spend her retirement visiting her grandchildren in Chicago, touring national parks and working on needlepoint projects.

The school’s administrator, Monica Murray, will serve as interim director.

After only serving a little more than three years as the head of school at Holy Innocents’ in Sandy Springs, Gene Bratek is retiring.

He said he looks forward to using his retirement to spend more time with his grandson, who lives in New Jersey. What Bratek said he will miss the most are all the people he has worked with, including the board of trustees, the administrative team, the faculty, the parents, the volunteers and the students.

“It’s just been not only fun but very meaningful to have the chance to work with such great folks,” he said.

One of his notable accomplishments during his time at Holy Innocents’ is the recent capital campaign, which raised about $22.5 million to construct a new building for classrooms, a dining hall and offices.

“It’s very exciting to be part of a team that has worked so hard to get this done,” Bratek said.

Paul Barton, who most recently served as head of school at the Avery Coonley School near Chicago, will replace Bratek.

The Westminster Schools in Buckhead will say farewell to its longtime president, Bill Clarkson.

“Bill’s had an amazing 23-year run here at the school,” Assistant Headmaster Scoot Dimon said. “I think he’s made the school more inclusive of all the different kinds of people that are in Atlanta.”

Clarkson was not available for comment for this article due to illness. However, Dimon said the construction of four building projects — a science building, a field house, a lower school and a junior high — is part of the legacy Clarkson leaves.

Dimon said the Westminster community will miss the dedication Clarkson and his wife Lucille have shown the school as well as Clarkson’s personality.

“Bill is just a great guy,” he said. “He’s really a lot of fun. He has a great sense of humor.”

Keith Davis, who most recently served as head of school at The Collegiate School in Richmond, Va., will replace Clarkson.

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NativeAtl
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May 16, 2014
Congratulations to Janet Reinertsen! Her love of children and innovation in education at St. Anne's Day School have left a legacy in Buckhead that will last for generations to come.
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