By Stacey Dresner
NORTHAMPTON – After four years as Head of School at Lander-Grinspoon Academy, Bil Zarch will leave July 1 to become Headmaster at Krieger Schechter Day School in Baltimore, Md.
Zarch will become only the second headmaster in the history of Krieger Schechter. His predecessor, Dr. Paul Schneider, steps down this summer after 29 years.
“I am so sad to be leaving,” Zarch said. “LGA is in such a great place. This school is a phenomenal place. It was a very hard decision and this was the next logical step in my career, but LGA will always have a very special place in my heart.”
Marcia Holden, general studies director, will become principal of LGA Schechter in July.
“Marcia is stupendous,” Zarch said. “She is an educator of the highest caliber, who understands children, who works with teachers, who gets the mission of the school and has really been a gift to the institution.”
“She is a strong leader for our teaching and learning. We are really excited to have her stepping up,” said Julia Chevan, president of LGA Schechter. Chevan said that while Holden will serve as the school’s principal, the school is now looking for an executive director, who together with Holden will lead the school as a team.
Chevan said that Zarch will be missed.
“He has touched every element of what the school is and what the school does,” said Julia Chevan, president of LGA Schechter. “It is really hard to capture all of the ways that Bil helped mature the school. He matured, the school matured. And we are going to miss him terribly. He has promised us that he is going to stay a part of our school community…He is moving to another phase of his career, but he is still a big part of our community and we are really lucky that we had him while we did.”
Before coming to LGA Schechter, Zarch spent 11 years at Prozdor Hebrew High School in Newton Centre, where he served as director. He is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo where he received a bachelor’s degree in public communications. He has a masters degree in Jewish education from Hebrew College in Boston and is a fellow and graduate of the Day School Leadership Training Institute (DSLTI).
Zarch has also served the local Jewish community as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, co-chair, Jewish Community of Amherst Rabbinic Screening Committee and Coordinating Committee and is a former member of both the Camp Yavneh Board of Directors and the Temple Hillel B’nai Torah Board of Directors. In 2011 he was awarded for Exemplary Jewish Community Leadership by the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.
Since arriving at LGA Schechter, Zarch has helped it grow to 94 students.
Zarch said that he will keep his ties to the LGA community and the Western Massachusetts Jewish community.
“My wife’s family lives here, and we have made very close friends here, and we will be back all of the time,” he said. “I say to them that they are losing a Head of School, but they are also gaining a major supporter and a donor to the school. I love this place and will always want to support it and will tell anybody who will listen about this really special school.”