Dear Members of the Spruce Street Community,
It is our great pleasure to announce that Darlene Huson, current Head of the Lower School at the American School of Lusaka, has accepted the invitation from the Board of Directors to succeed Christie and become the next Head of School at Spruce Street Nursery School, effective July 15, 2024. Christie shares, "We are delighted that Darlene will be joining the Spruce community. Her dedication to quality early childhood education and community, two fundamental elements of Spruce, has been apparent since we first met and throughout the process. Her level of experience and education will be an asset to our little school as Spruce embraces the next chapter. My heart is full as I envision the bright future of this magical place we have created together."
Darlene brings to Spruce 25 years of experience as a teacher, assistant principal, primary principal and deputy director, spanning across the globe, notably in Florence, Italy, Dubai, UAE and currently, Lusaka, Zambia. She holds a Bachelor of Art in Visual Art from Bard College, a Masters in Elementary Education and a Post-Masters in Educational Leadership from the College of New Jersey, and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Portland State University. Darlene is thrilled to be joining Spruce and has shared "After a very welcoming visit to Spruce a couple of weeks ago, I am honored to be offered the position as the next Director of Spruce. From the strong community feel to the teachers' dedication to the joy of learning from the children, I am looking forward to building upon the strong foundations that Christie has built for this wonderful school. As I was able to share with many of you while I was there, the early childhood years lie close to my heart. With over twenty-five years of working with young children in a number of different schools, I am thrilled to remain connected with this phase of learning and growth at Spruce. It is a joyous time filled with curiosity, exploration, and creativity and a stage in life that deserves respect in its own right. I look forward to connecting with you all in the months to come!"
At this time, we also extend our deepest gratitude to Christie, for her remarkable leadership in creating and leading our magical Spruce. We are eternally grateful to her for her unwavering dedication to Spruce and we look forward to both honoring and celebrating her in the months to come.
A national and international search for Christie's successor began in the fall of 2022, following Christie's decision to step down at the end of the 2024 school year. The Search Committee partnered with consultant Mary Seppala, from Educator's Collaborative, to identify the "best match" candidates for Spruce. The field of candidates was thoroughly vetted and resulted in finalist visits this spring. The Search Committee fully endorses Darlene's candidacy and she was unanimously approved to be the next Director by the Board of Directors.
We look forward to welcoming Darlene, her husband Antonio, and their son, Milo, to our community. We are also confident that each of you will, in your own way, extend a warm welcome to Darlene and her family.
We would like to extend a special thanks to our fellow Search Committee members, Christie Guevin, Nate Thorne, Sam Spirn and Alex Vannoni, who devoted countless hours and great care to the search process to ensure its successful outcome.
Lastly, we would not be here without the dedication of so many in our community. Your eager participation and thoughtful and insightful feedback helped the Search Committee determine that Darlene was right for Spruce. While we always have said our community is our strongest asset, it was most apparent during this process. We couldn't have done it without you. Thank you!
Head of School Search Committee Co-Chairs