AIMS Insights is a newsletter started in the summer of 2016 with the goal to communicate AIMS activities, as well as highlight interesting and exciting AIMS member school events. We also aim to stress the value of independent education overall, as well as the process of accreditation.
AIMS profiles a new school leader in each issue of Insights in our series entitled Seven Questions With...For our current profile, we reached out to the Head of School at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Rabbi Mitchel Malkus. Ed. D.
Tell us how you first got involved in with AIMS?
When I began my tenure at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS) four years ago, the school was undergoing an accreditation with AIMS.
What's your first memory of being a Head of School?
When I began as a head 16 years ago, my first day of school was on 9/11. I had just moved from New York City and felt both the responsibility to insure the safety and well-being of my students and at the same time was concerned about my friends and family in New York who I was unable to reach.
What has surprised you most about working with schools and or students?
I continue to be amazed at the passionate involvement of volunteer leaders and the amount of time they contribute. As for students, they are the joy behind the long work hours and many challenges of being a head of school. I am continually in awe of the creativity and capacity for empathy that students show every day.
If you could change one thing about independent schools, what would it be?
Independent schools engage students in an outstanding education that is costly to provide. I would like to find ways to support this experience for a broader segment of students and families.
What do you wish other people knew about AIMS?
AIMS represents a diverse groups of schools. Highlighting the range of schools would shed light on the work AIMS does on a regular basis.
Tell us about someone who has influenced your work?
Dr. Lee Shulman, emeritus professor of education at Stanford University
What might AIMS Members be surprised to know about you?
I was once arrested â€¦ It was actually a planned demonstration when Iran imprisoned a dozen Jewish Iranians on false claims that they were Israeli spies. After a larger demonstration at the Iranian Mission to the UN, a group of ten rabbis was arrested to bring attention to this issue.