Pamela Jordan, head of school at the Chicago Academy for the Arts, will become the next president of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation. Jordan will begin at Idyllwild Arts in July 2014.
“I am thrilled that Pamela has accepted the position of president. IAF is a marvelous institution with a legacy of commitment to creativity and with an equally remarkable future at the forefront of arts education for all ages,” said IAF Board Chair Faith Raiguel in her letter announcing Jordan’s appointment. “She brings rich experience and a history of visionary leadership that is uniquely suited to ensure the academy and summer program thrive and continue to fulfill the IAF mission.”
Jordan has a bachelor of music degree from Phillips University and a master of arts in education from Northeastern Illinois University. With more than 23 years of experience at the Chicago Academy of the Arts, Jordan has served that institution in various capacities, and has been head of school for the past 11 years. She also holds leadership positions in a number of regional and national independent school organizations.
“I am passionate about arts education and very excited about the opportunity to work with the talented faculty and staff of Idyllwild Arts,” Jordan wrote in the IAF press release. “I am a firm believer in the mission of Idyllwild Arts and I look forward to working with the board, faculty and staff of Idyllwild Arts as we build upon the strong reputation of this remarkable institution.”
In describing an arts education during an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Jordan said, “An arts education can be the foundation that helps young people become critical and imaginative thinkers and doers. The arts teach students to consider that there is more than one right answer and that there are multiple solutions to a problem. This type of divergent thinking naturally fosters collaboration, effective communication and innovation — all critical capacities that are essential for success.”
“Pamela is a great selection and galvanized to take us forward. She knows Bill Lowman [the former IA head of school] quite well,” said Steve Fraider, director of the summer program, “and serves in a couple of organizations with Doug Ashcraft [dean of the academy]. She knows us very well.”
About 100 applicants applied for the positions, according to Fraider. “We were gratified with that response. Now we’re excited about our prospects,” he added.
Jordan will have the responsibility of overseeing the academy, one of only three independent boarding high schools for the arts in the United States, and its 64-year-old summer program, which annually reaches nearly 2,000 participants of all ages seeking intensive arts experiences.
J.P. Crumrine can be reached at [email protected].