Editor’s Note: You might recall earlier this year that we announced Eagle Rock was actively seeking a new Director of Curriculum to replace Jen Frickey. Following months of reviewing cover letters and resumes, as well as a lengthy interview process, we arrived at a candidate who shined throughout the entire process: our own Professional Development Associate Sarah Bertucci. Sarah begins in her new role work this summer — just in time for our 75th trimester (ER 75). Below is some information on Jen and Sarah, as well as an in-depth Q&A with both of these Eagle Rock veterans.
So, let’s start with Jen:
Jen Frickey began her Eagle Rock career as an intern in our Human Performance Center (HPC) during our 25th trimester (ER 25) back in 2001. She was quickly promoted to the Instructional Staff (assigned to the HPC) and became a Lodgepole houseparent the following year, leaving in 2008 to raise two kids in Canada. She returned in 2012 as Director of Curriculum and is and is now returning to Canada to focus on spending more time with her kids.
Eagle Rock: What were your proudest accomplishments in curriculum?
Jen: When I came into the role I took over a strong instructional team based on the work of Jeff Liddle and Michael Soguero, continuing the curriculum in the direction they had taken it with the previous Individualized Learning Plans update. During my time, I worked on getting our practices more aligned, dialed, high-quality, and consistent across the entire instructional team.
ER: What were some of the more specific objectives you achieved as director?
Jen: I created a rotational Instructional Coach role as a way to leverage the experience of our veteran Instructional Specialists, offering more support to all instructors, and increasing professional growth opportunities for the staff. In addition, I lead annual Professional Development focus areas around common assessment, classroom culture, literacy across the curriculum, formative assessment, student centered coaching, and student engagement.
ER: Were there other programs that you were instrumental in setting up?
Jen: Under my leadership the instructional team created our Instructional Playbook, a weekly study hall program, a formative weekly student progress tracker, and the beginnings of an academic action plan program in conjunction with student services. In addition, I led an initiative to create and implement Eagle Rock’s first STEAM lab, known as the FUSE lab.
Welcoming Sarah to her new role
Sarah Bertucci began her career at Eagle Rock School as a summer intern for Math and Science back in 1994. She spent a year as an intern for Science in 2001 and 2002 — working with Jen — and then became a Professional Development Center Associate in September of 2014 until now.
Eagle Rock: What are your immediate hopes for curriculum at Eagle Rock?
Sarah: I want to continue to build on the strength of the program that Jen led, with a strong Instructional Team working with high levels of collaboration and trust. Our annual professional development focus areas have led to improved student experience — specifically carrying forward this year’s work on common assessments.
ER: Do you have any plans for the future of Eagle Rock’s students?
Sarah: I want to continue to work toward ensuring that our instructional program sets every student up for post-secondary success in whatever direction they choose. I also plan to focus on students having an integrated and cohesive experience across instructional and residential life. And I want to put the spotlight in our diversity, equity, and inclusion for staff culture and for ensuring our instruction is culturally sustaining and serving all of our diverse students.
All of us at Eagle Rock thank Jen for her 12 years of combined leadership, production, and exemplary participation in the Eagle Rock community, and we wish her well going forward. Similarly, we’re excited to add Sarah to the Eagle Rock Leadership Team as our next director of curriculum, as well as to see what she has in store for the academic side of Eagle Rock School.