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Chris Terrill named Executive Director of Crosstown High

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The Board of Directors of Crosstown High (XTH), the forthcoming public charter school that will be located inside Crosstown Concourse, has announced that it has selected Chris Terrill to be its Executive Director.

Mr. Terrill comes to Crosstown High from Mooresville, North Carolina, where he has served as the Head of Schools for Pine Lake Preparatory since June 2012. Prior to that, he was the Founding Principal of both Oasis Middle School and Oasis High School in Cape Coral, Florida. He began his career as an administrator as the Principal of Hill City Middle School and Elementary School in Hill City, Kansas. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Friends University and a Masters Degree in School Leadership from Baker University.

Chris Terrill and his wife Keena, also an educator, are the parents of four daughters, two of whom are in college. The Terrills and their two youngest daughters will relocate to Memphis this summer and will reside in an apartment inside Crosstown Concourse.

As the inaugural Executive Director of Crosstown High, Terrill will, in conjunction with the Board and other members of his school leadership team, administer the curriculum, instructional programs, standards, and promote the school’s unique vision of project-based learning and use of personalized learning plans for its eventual co-ed student body of 500 scholars.

He will be responsible for oversight and development of all academic programs and curricula; faculty and staff hiring, professional development, compensation, other personnel matters; and student enrollment, attendance, and discipline, and will also oversee budgeting, financial management, fundraising, technology, and management of school facilities. Terrill will also assist and guide the Board in making decisions in all areas covered under school governance and contract guidelines with the Shelby County Schools district.

Crosstown High plans to welcome its first class of students in Fall 2018.

“My career has been driven by a desire to create exceptional educational experiences for young people that prepare them for the challenges of our rapidly evolving world, regardless of their socio-economic background. I look forward to utilizing every bit of my experience and abilities to do just that in the biggest and best way possible for the students of Crosstown High,” said Terrill. “On every level, Crosstown High and the entire Crosstown Concourse project are about creating the future. This is truly the opportunity of a lifetime for me.”

“It was clear from our very first conversation with Chris that he possessed not only the kind of strong, successful track record that would make him a desirable hire at any school, but he also has incredible imagination for what Crosstown High needs to become — a diverse, challenging school where students are deeply engaged in learning, personal growth, and creativity,” said XTH Board member Meg Crosby, who chaired the selection committee. “He brings a wealth of on-the-ground and in-the-classroom experience and couples it with a passion for new models and systems of instruction that make him an ideal fit Crosstown High. We are very excited to work with him to build this unique school.”

“A public high school at Crosstown Concourse has been under discussion for years. Every single one of its tenants and founding partners agree that it is essential to capturing, amplifying, and passing forward the immense value that this remarkable and special project will generate,” says John Smarrelli, Jr., Chairman of the XTH Board of Directors. “Chris understands that on an intuitive level, and he is fearless about jumping into a start-up situation and getting to work.”

A search for Crosstown High’s Principal is ongoing. Interested applicants are encouraged to view the qualifications and apply at CrosstownHigh.org/xth-help-wanted/.

 

Help wanted: Visionary Leaders

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Meg Crosby, Chair of Search Committee, Crosstown High Board of Directors:

“After receiving approval from Shelby County Schools recently to open Crosstown High (XTH), our team is now moving ahead full-steam to develop a truly unique high school to serve the Memphis community. While we had originally hoped to open XTH in the fall of 2017, we have since revised our timetable and will now open with a class of approximately 125 9th graders in August 2018. This extra year will allow us time to recruit outstanding leaders and teachers, continue to learn from successful, innovative high schools throughout the country, finish designing and building a 21st-century learning space, establish meaningful partnerships with businesses and nonprofits inside and outside Crosstown Concourse, and continue to solicit the input of community members to ensure that XTH is the school that our students need.

“Our first order of business is to build the team of education professionals who will bring our vision for Crosstown High to life. To that end, we are conducting a nationwide search for our founding Executive Director and Principal. We are looking for bold individuals who believe that new approaches to teaching, learning, and community building are not only possible — they are essential. Crosstown Concourse offers us a once-in-lifetime opportunity to design such a school, and we are searching for leaders who are dreamers, doers, and collaborators. They must be ready to explore what’s working best in today’s high schools, both locally and nationally, and bring those ideas back to Crosstown High so that they may be further improved and implemented.

Please take a look at the job descriptions for our Founding Executive Director and Principal. We ask for our community’s help in spreading the word about these unique leadership opportunities.

Sam and kids at story booth

“We are also encouraged by the response we have already received from teachers who are interested in learning more about working at Crosstown High. While we are not yet hiring for teaching positions, we will have many opportunities over the coming year for educators to learn more about our model. Interested individuals should add their names to our database of educators.

“Again, we extend our deepest thanks to those who have supported our vision so far, particularly our partners at Crosstown Concourse and throughout the Crosstown community, the Shelby County Schools Board of Commissioners and Superintendent Hopson, and everyone who shares our dream of building something unique and incredible for city’s youth.”