Episcopal Day School Fires Headmaster
The Episcopal Day School's board of trustees Tuesday morning sent out a letter to parishioners that it has fired new Headmaster Michael Cerkovnik.
"The EDS board has voted unanimously to terminate the contract," states the letter, signed by Emmanuel Episcopal Church senior warden Lou Gentry, EDS Vestry Liaison Robert Lutz and EDS board chair Holly Bell. The church is located on South Ridge Street in Southern Pines.
"A search for a new headmaster will commence immediately," the letter reads. "We cannot comment on the details of the termination but are confident the decision was both necessary and in the best interest of the school. At no time was the welfare of the children of the school an issue."
Cerkovnik replaced Jay St. John, who was immensely popular and retired at the end of last school year. He was hired in May and was the board's unanimous choice for the position. He had been a school official trained in psychology and law.
A native of Pittsburgh, Cerkovnik was the head of Educational Innovation and Research at Davidson Day School near Charlotte and holds degrees in clinical psychology and law.
Upon his hiring, Cerkovnik, a member of the moral development team for the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education in Oregon, said that students “must come to love learning for learning’s sake, for it is a process in which they will necessarily be engaged for the rest of their lives. This passion for learning will produce superlative scholarship. The environment will be ‘nurturing’ and ‘child centered’ because it’s educationally sound to be both.”
Cerkovnik's professional history includes being director of psychological services and a school psychologist in Fairfax, Vt., partnering with the Co-Evolution Group to develop and administer an international collaborative website challenge for middle school students, and an ongoing involvement on the council for Spiritual and Ethical Education.
His educational credentials include a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Miami University in Ohio, graduate work at Cornell University in developmental psychology and a law degree from Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pa.
The school's board of trustees has chosen Jill Connett as its interim headmaster for the rest of the school year. She has 18 years of educational experience and worked at EDS from 1999-2000 and from 2010-2011. She rejoined the faculty this year as resource coordinator.
"Mrs. Connett is dedicated to providing a strong foundation for life-long learning through quality education in a Christian environment -- the mission of EDS.
The vestry has full faith and confidence in the actions of the EDS Board of Trustees and in the skills and abilities of Mrs. Connett."
Cerkovnik could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
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