The What School Could Be Podcast

The What School Could Be Podcast


125. Learn by Doing, Learn by Caring, with Nueva School's Lee Fertig

April 15, 2024

Meet Lee Fertig, the Head of School at the Nueva School in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lee has more than 30 years of leadership and teaching experience in a wide variety of educational settings including five international schools in Ethiopia, Brazil, Spain, and Belgium, a leading independent school in New York City, and a voluntary integration public magnet school in Minneapolis. In addition, for many years Lee has been training at the Principals’ Training Center (PTC). You will hear more about the PTC in a moment. Lee has taught in the College of Education at the University of Minnesota, and is a guest speaker on contemporary educational issues at a wide variety of community events. Nueva School is a place that brings together gifted students from across the Bay Area to engage in a Pre-K through 12 educational program anchored by a community that is caring and compassionate. It is this unique combination of academic and social-emotional learning that makes Nueva the school that it is and has been since 1967. At the core of what Nueva means by developing learners and thinkers who are ‘bridgers’ across perspectives is the ability of its students to engage in deep learning across disciplines, to understand different ways of knowing about a particular concept, and to break down and reconstruct systems that frame how we learn about things. It is a school and community dedicated to learning by doing and learning by caring. Robert Landau, a former guest on this show wrote the following for this episode, and I quote. “During my recent visit to Nueva School, I witnessed Head Lee Fertig's exceptional ability to interact and network. Seamlessly engaging with parents, teachers, and students, Lee demonstrated a relational, respectful, and encouraging demeanor, making everyone feel known and included. His smart, intuitive, and passionate approach and commitment to the future make him an educator I truly respect and admire.” Because Lee and I dive into the Principals Training Center in this episode, I asked Robert Landau to say a word about it as well. Robert writes, “Since its inaugural session in 1985 and first summer session in 1989, the Principals Training Center has stood as a beacon of excellence in educational leadership development, nurturing the potential of countless school leaders across the globe. It emboldens them with cutting-edge strategies, a deepened understanding of educational leadership, and a global network of peers. The PTC's unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation in leadership training remains unparalleled, genuinely embodying the pinnacle of professional development for educational leaders.” Editing provided by Evan Kurohara. Our theme music comes from the vast catalog of master pianist, Michael Sloan.


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