Please find letters below regarding Amy Warden’s departure as Director, as well as Marie Fabian’s welcome as Interim Director, and information about the Director Nominating Committee.
Letter from Amy Warden
Dear Brick Community,
Nine years ago when I started my tenure at Brick as Associate Director I quickly realized what an extraordinary community I had joined. I was warmly welcomed by families whose commitment to, and support of Brick’s mission was evident every day and after meeting a particularly charming and precocious young boy in a bow tie who asked me if I would like to sit next to him at the snack table I knew I had found my home. During my first year when I watched our son, Henry (then 5, now 14) read to 2 South and received the most loving baby shower for our daughter, Audrey, I knew Brick had my heart. Throughout my tenure, and most especially these past three years as Director, I have been inspired and uplifted by the passionate, dedicated and exceptionally talented group of early childhood educators and administrators who began as colleagues and have become trusted partners. It has been my honor to work alongside them. So, it is with profound gratitude, and some sadness that I share my decision to step down as the Director of The Brick Church School at the conclusion of this school year, to start a new chapter in my professional life, at a school that has been very meaningful for me personally. My daughter, Audrey (now 8), attends The Stephen Gaynor School, an institution that is a pioneer in special education and a community that has changed the trajectory of her life. So when the opportunity arose for me to more directly support their efforts to bring the same transformational experience to other children, as their next Director of Admissions and Enrollment, I felt compelled to take it.
To be a part of a young child’s earliest educational experiences is incredibly meaningful and sacred work, and I have cherished being a part of the start of each child’s academic journey at Brick. I have delighted in spending time with children through the quiet connection offered in Chapel, the creative inspirations of the light filled art studio, the flurry of movement in the Garden and on the Roof and the undivided attention that comes when sharing a book. I am indebted to our teachers for their partnership and collaboration as we honed our curriculum and saw it evolve over time. We deepened our understanding and appreciation for how young children learn to read, of how imperative it is to have a quality social-emotional curriculum and of how critical it is to remain committed to, and intentional about diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. The Brick faculty truly understand the meaning and benefit of Rudine Sims Bishop’s vision of offering children mirrors and windows. They have created classrooms and curricula that both mirror their student’s experiences while also providing windows into the lives of others, opening doors into the diverse world around them. Through that work and our commitment to teaching the whole child we have watched them grow and develop as joyful, eager students and kind, caring friends who have healthy views of themselves and sincere respect for others. As an educator, there is nothing greater to witness than this.
I am so grateful for the personal connections, moments of joy and deep learning that were part of my journey at Brick and I have benefitted from the wisdom and support of so many. I am wiser for being surrounded by educators and learning specialists who took the time to think deeply about child development, something I relish. I am thankful to Day School Committee members for celebrating my love of a good spreadsheet and also reminding me to stand strong in my convictions. I am forever indebted to the Pastors who took time to check in with me during moments of both pain and celebration and to the many families who engaged me in truly valued discourse that both affirmed our direction and challenged us to be ever better. I will always treasure the memories made traveling with my wonderful colleagues to conferences near and far to unlock the power and magic of early childhood education.
For much of my tenure as Director we have been in the midst of a global pandemic. As we navigated our new normal, I was gratified and energized by the perseverance and unwavering commitment of Brick’s team who were incredibly patient, supportive and innovative, as we kept the well-being of children at the forefront of our decision making. They chose time and again to work harder than they ever have to keep school open because they knew it was the right thing to do for our young students. Through it all, as I endeavored to lead with optimism, I found myself fortified by the support and care of staff, faculty, families, Day School Committee members, Church leaders and Church members. On behalf of our young students we have accomplished great things and endured together.
As we look forward, it is my great pleasure to welcome Marie Fabian back to Brick as the Interim Director. Marie and I will work together for the remainder of the school year to ensure a smooth and seamless transition before I say farewell at the end of June. For those of you who have not yet met Marie, you are in for a treat. Bolstered by her talents, our outstanding families and exceptional teachers, Brick‘s future is bright. I am confident it will continue to be the special community that I have been so fortunate to be a part of these past nine years. I thank you sincerely for all of your kindness and support through the years and I wish you all well.
The Brick Church School
Letter from the Day School Committee and The Session of the Brick Presbyterian Church
Dear Members of the Brick Church School Community,
We are writing on behalf of the Day School Committee of the Brick Church School and the Session of the Brick Presbyterian Church to share the news that Amy Warden has decided to leave the Brick Church School at the end of this school year. When Amy informed us of her recent decision, she underscored how much she loves the Brick community and how difficult it was to decide to move on. An exciting leadership opportunity was available at a school at which Amy and her family have close ties, and she felt called to apply. Though we are sad to see Amy go, we understand and support her decision, and we know that her new school community will feel as fortunate as we have been at Brick to have Amy as a leader, teacher, colleague, and friend.
After six years as Brick’s Associate Director, Amy became the school’s Director in the summer of 2019. During her tenure, Amy has distinguished herself as a leader through her unfailing kindness and integrity, her dedication to the school, and her expertise and passion for early childhood education. She has strengthened our school community in profound ways.
Among her many accomplishments, Amy was instrumental in developing the Twos Program and achieving record enrollment levels schoolwide. Most notably, Amy has been a steadfast leader through the Covid pandemic, keeping our community safe and protecting our children’s learning environment. With Amy’s leadership, Brick has been a leader among nursery schools, swiftly and successfully pivoting to remote learning in spring 2020 and then resuming in-person class that fall, making Brick an outlier among independent schools in reopening quickly and remaining open for the entire 2020-2021 academic year. Her commitment to our children and to the faculty has provided stability during times of difficulty, and her sense of purpose and joy has been contagious. We will miss Amy, and we will always be grateful for her service to our community.
Moving forward, we are pleased to announce that Marie Fabian will return to Brick to serve as Interim Director for the 2022–2023 school year. An experienced educator and leader, Marie most recently served as Director of the Circle School, an early childhood program affiliated with Our Savior Lutheran Church in Croton-on-Hudson, where she was responsible for all aspects of the school’s early childhood program. She previously served as Associate Director at Brick under Lydia Spinelli from September 2005 through June 2008, and then returned to serve as the Director of Institutional Advancement and Co-Business Manager from September 2010 through June 2012. Marie’s knowledge and love of Brick, along with her experience on both the academic and administrative sides of school life, make her the ideal Interim Director, and we are confident that she will help steward a seamless transition in leadership between Amy Warden and Brick’s next permanent Director. We are grateful that Marie will return to Brick in April to work alongside Amy while getting to know the faculty, families, and students.
We have formed a search committee of experienced and dedicated individuals, chaired by Ted Clement, who is a Brick alumnus and parent, an elder of the Church, and a member of both the Day School Committee and the Session. You will hear more from the committee later this spring as it launches an inclusive and thorough search process to identify the next Director of the Brick Church School. We anticipate that Brick’s next Director will begin their term at the start of the 2023–2024 school year.
For over eighty years, the Brick Church School has distinguished itself for the outstanding, compassionate, and thoughtful education it provides its students. Supported by our talented faculty and staff, Amy’s successor will build on all that she accomplished during her tenure, continuing to nurture a diverse and inclusive community of broad welcome and deep belonging. While change can be daunting, the Day School Committee and the Session are confident in the mission and values of the school, in the strength and stability of Brick’s program, and in the talented teachers who carry it out each year with such dedication, wisdom, and skill.
We will keep you informed throughout the search for Brick’s next Director. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to either of us.
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Evans
Senior Minister, Head of Staff, and Moderator of Session
on behalf of the Session of the Brick Presbyterian Church
Chair, Day School Committee
on behalf of the Day School Committee
The Brick Church School