BART taps Southern Vermont College provost to replace Julia Bowen as head of Adams school
Trustee Chair Charles Swabey said White will bring to BART more than 30 years of teaching, administrative, and fundraising experience in a variety of settings, including middle and high school, colleges and universities, and national and international nonprofit organizations. White serves as Provost, Dean of the College, and Professor of Physics at Southern Vermont College in Bennington, Vt., which he joined in 2015.
Swabey said White was inspired to apply for the executive director position by a visit to BART last year, where he said the dedication of faculty and staff to student success was palpable to anyone entering the school. White's experience during the interview process at BART, which included classroom visits and meeting a variety of BART community members, increased his admiration for BART and further fueled his desire to lead the school as an advocate for the academic excellence and transformative education that BART provides for its students.
"The Board of Trustees is confident that Jay has the background and skills to lead BART to the next level of academic performance and student achievement, as well as strengthening the ability of BART graduates to thrive in college," Swabey said.
Swabey added that White has a track record of successful friend- and fund-raising, both of which are critical to BART. Swabey said the Board found White to be a collaborative leader and agreed that his description of administrative leadership as "facilitating the work of his peers" is the right approach for BART.
White said he is looking forward to joining BART because, "As a seasoned administrator, I enjoy working closely with colleagues to improve and advance programs and whole institutions and to make more evocative and powerful the education we provide."
Swabey said that White will succeed founding executive director Julia Bowen, who has led BART since 2003 and has resigned effective July to pursue new opportunities. Swabey added that the Board is pleased that between White's arrival and Bowen's departure, there will be an overlap during which the two will work together to facilitate a smooth transition for BART.
Prior to relocating to New England and joining Southern Vermont College as its Provost and Dean of the College, White has had a career concentrated within national and international education and has lived and worked within education at all levels. Highlights of White's career include:
- From teacher of science and mathematics to head of school at Linden Hall, the nation's oldest boarding school for young women.
- Chief academic officer and a physics professor for Washington & Jefferson College and Gettysburg College.
Executive director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and program manager for the International Astronomical Union's science and education development programs in countries around the world.
An elected fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, White holds a bachelor's degree in physics from Birmingham-Southern College and master's and doctorate degrees in astronomy from Indiana University, Bloomington.
"My life has been one dedicated to exploration and education—for my own curiosity and, more importantly, for helping to create learning environments in which children and colleagues can explore." White stated. "BART Charter Public School is an important institution, and I am absolutely thrilled to help the teachers and families of the school's students help these children emerge as the great souls we know they are. Our nation and our global society need them, and BART is a perfect place to help prepare them before they are set loose on addressing the world's challenges."
Swabey said the Board of Trustees wished to thank the Executive Director Search Committee for its service. The nine volunteers – four BART trustees, a BART Foundation Board trustee, a teacher, parent, administrator, and community member —reviewed 29 applications for the position in a process that involved phone and in-person interviews, a full-day visit to BART for three applicants, and a final interview with the Board of Trustees. Swabey said the committee conducted a thoughtful and rigorous process that resulted in the successful recruitment of Jay White.
BART is a nationally recognized, award-winning, tuition-free public middle and high school focused on preparing students for college. In 2015, US News & World Report ranked BART the 7th best high school in Massachusetts. To date, 100 percent of BART's graduates have passed a college course and have been accepted into college prior to graduation. BART does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.