ALAMEDA -- Community Learning Center Schools (CLCS) -- the charter management organization for two of Alameda's prominent public charter schools, ACLC and Nea -- has appointed a new executive director beginning July 1.
Dr. Patti Wilczek will succeed Paul Bentz, who has served as CLCS executive director for the past four years and was one of ACLC's original founders when the school opened in 1996.
When Bentz made public his decision to retire at the end of 2013, the CLCS Governing Board formed a search committee and contracted with a recruiting firm to conduct a nationwide search for his successor.
Wilczek has more than 20 years of educational sector experience and was selected from a large pool of candidates based on her command of internal management and external relations.
"It is an honor to join CLCS and help implement the most effective, innovative programs in the Bay Area. I'm most excited about how ACLC and Nea cultivate learners who are critical thinkers and innovative problem solvers," Wilczek said. "These people will ultimately make a positive difference in their community and the world."
"Dr. Wilczek combines natural diplomacy with the business acumen required to run schools that are financially lean and fiscally responsible," said Joan Uhler, CLCS board chair. "She understands our commitment to project-based learning and providing exceptional opportunities and educational programs for children and teens from diverse backgrounds."
Wilczek has served most recently as the Head of School for what had been a struggling independent school in Santa Clara. During her five years of leadership, the Mulberry School was able to overcome annual deficits of more than $100,000 and transform itself into a top-performing and fiscally sustainable school with a staff of more than 60 and a significant financial surplus.
Wilczek spent her early career as a clinical psychologist, developing skills in negotiation, mediation, systems analysis, and organizational management. She became dismayed at how mainstream educational settings were underserving students with the greatest needs. Her concern prompted her to launch a career in education, initially teaching at the college level, and later moving into administrative leadership.
Wilczek has served as director of counseling services at the Cate School in Carpinteria and dean of faculty at Storm King School in Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y. While consulting for the Children's Project Foundation, a charter school for foster children in Santa Barbara, she helped develop academic, social-emotional, and residential programs, and became acquainted with the advantages of charter schools.
-- Community Learning Center Schools