Ann Marie Krejcarek will be succeeding retiring director of schools Gordon Sharafinski, who is retiring, as president of Schools of the Sacred Heart. Krejcarek is currently the headmaster of Saint Andrew’s School, a kindergarten through ninth grade school in Boca Raton, Fla., where she has also taught advanced honors physics. Krejcarek received a Doctor of Education from Columbia University and completed her Bachelor of Engineering degree at the University of Minnesota. Prior to being a headmaster, Krejcarek worked as an engineering consultant and a production foreman for Birdseye. Krejcarek has a husband, three sons and two granddaughters. Krejcarek sat down with The Broadview in the Mother Williams Library last week during her second visit to campus.
What do you do at your current job?
I’m the head of the three schools … on an 80 acre campus with 1,300 students, plus a few more. It is currently coed and the schools are the lower school through grade five, the middle school is six, seven and eight and the upper school is nine to 12. We also have about 100 residential students who live on the campus and there are 33 faculty who live on campus as well. I manage all of that as well as the curriculum, the physical school, the business and the academic side.
How did you find out about the president position for the Schools of the Sacred Heart?
The school hired professional search consultant Wickenden Associates and the company called me directly. The search agents usually know what the school is looking for and the Schools of the Sacred Heart was looking for … a “sitting head” — one who is holding a position similar to the one they are looking to find. The way those searches tend to be filled is the search agent will call people who they think will be a match and then in addition, people can apply, but in my situation the search company called me directly.
Why did you take the job?
The school is lovely. It has a wonderful mission and values. The more I was in this school, the more intrigued I was with the quality of education and what it looks forward to do with its strategic plan and goals that it has for innovation and technology.
How did you move from engineering to working in education?
I considered both fields — engineering and education — and when my children were younger, it really seemed to work well … and [I] really fell in love with teaching, especially physics. I still got to pursue my love of science in the classroom and I got to pursue my whole sense of engineering because the positions I had made me a problem solver and create solutions, sometimes physical in building structures and managing building projects to creating one of the first green schools at the gold level and lead. I’ve always been able to use that problem solving side of my engineering degree.
Do you have any plans on bringing the four schools together as a community?
I think there’s quite a few new leaders in place next year who will have fresh ideas, but I think some of the best ideas are going to come from the students. I look forward to talking about this with students and hearing their ideas because when I spoke with the boys at Stuart Hall High School they say they really enjoyed the coed activities and they feel that it brings the high schools together. They mentioned the Spain and France trip that some of them went on and they talked about some smaller expeditions similar to that one that is accessible financially and in a reasonable time frame. It’s good that the schools are separate because they’re different identities for a reason, but at the same time there needs to be a balance of cohesion as one school because the Schools of the Sacred Heart really are one school and institution. I think the separate identities are pretty well embedded, but now to lean into how the total identity of the one institution can be formulated can be exciting and a little necessary.
What changes are you expecting when you move to the Bay Area?
I think the weather is one, but I was born and raised in the Midwest, so I’m used to colder weather. But I think having a city accessible is a very attractive option. When I did my doctorate work at Columbia, I loved having the proximity of Manhattan right there. You have the city and you have the green as well. The beauty of the Bay Area is you don’t have to go too far to get to the redwoods or hiking and things like that. You have the best of a great city, but at the same time I’m a real outdoors-type of person.