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The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte

The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte


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Upper School to Welcome New Dean


As Mrs. Guzman departs, The Benjamin School welcomes Mr. Andrew M. Curtis as the new Academic dean who will officially begin this position on August 1.

In his previous roles at Jakarta Intercultural School, Curtis showcased his exceptional leadership skills and commitment to educational excellence. He worked at the school for nine years and made a long-lasting impact through serving as the School Wide Accreditation Coordinator, Social Studies Department Head, Curriculum Learning Coordinator, the Global Online Academy Site Coordinator and Grade Level Coordinator. Curtis helped streamline accreditation processes, empowered teachers to innovate, facilitated curriculum development, and promoted student well-being.

After the Jakarta Intercultural school, Curtis worked at the American School Foundation of Monterrey for one year. There he helped play a pivotal role in shaping the educational landscape at a school of over 2,500 students. He led the development and implementation of comprehensive policies and initiatives to ensure a cohesive approach to teaching and learning, to provide consistency across all levels of the school.

Curtis has grown up in a family of educators and his wife, Gretchen, is currently a Middle School Counselor at St. Andrews. He loves to be outside, exercise, and has coached volleyball from age U12 all the way up to the collegiate level.

Throughout his years of teaching, Curtis has found immense fulfillment in positively impacting students and colleagues. In his new role, he hopes to cultivate an environment that strikes a balance between students’ learning and well-being.

“Schools are not static entities; in a new role, as in my past positions, I will model and create a culture of context-specific reflective practice. This work would incorporate the dynamics of the school community and the school’s organizational culture, offering a holistic strategic vision. I will foster an environment that does not see the challenge of education as zero-sum, but one where we address students’ interests—not based on ideology or anecdotes—but rather in-house data and education research,” Curtis expressed.

The candidates were interviewed by department chairs, a panel of students, Head of Upper School Mr. Carr, and Head of School Mr. Faus. At the end of the interviewing process, there was an evaluation which narrowed it down to four finalists. The four finalists then visited the school and Carr had around twenty faculty members rank the candidates and the one with the highest point value at the end was the academic dean.

Head of Upper School Mr. Fletcher Carr was extremely impressed when interviewing Curtis and is excited for the change he will make.

“From a pool of four strong finalists for the position, Andy emerged as the candidate who garnered the strongest feedback from those interviewing him: Upper School administration, department chairs, Head of School. His broad experience, credentialing work, global perspective, and work with curriculum development at a range of schools will add strength to an already very strong academic program,” Carr explained.

In her role as the current academic dean, Guzman created a detailed monthly calendar documenting her yearly tasks, guaranteeing that Curtis receives the essential information and guidance crucial for the position.

“The job was so much more than I expected. I knew that it would include training new teachers, professional development, building the schedule but I didn’t realize all of the other things I would get to do like supporting the faculty, students, and the amount of work I get to do with families. For the incoming academic dean I think that knowing that everyday is so different than the day before and being willing to be really flexible is going to be key,” Guzman said.

With the support of the school community and under the guidance of Guzman, Curtis is poised to lead the academic program effectively next year.

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About the Contributor
Chase Zur
Chase Zur, Associate Editor
Chase Zur is a sophomore and this is her second semester in The Pharcyde. Chase has attended The Benjamin School since WOW and is excited to start her second year in the Upper School. She enjoys watching sports and spending time with friends and family. As a second year staff writer, Chase is looking forward to taking on more articles and improving her journalistic writing in The Pharcyde. 

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