Some Background on the Founders of the Healy School (or “Who the Heck are these Folks?”)
The “Healy School” charter proposal is modestly named after one of its founders, Maureen Healy, the author of several spiritual psychology books on raising children. While Ms. Healy lists herself as an “educator” on the Healy Charter petition, it does not appear that she has had any hands-on experience in the classroom for decades and it is unclear if she has EVER taught or worked in a public school. If she has, this is NOT something that she touts on her professional bio.
She has an educational background in psychology having obtained a BS and PhD in Psychology though does not work as a practicing therapist, nor has she done the psychological research she touts in her books. She also has an MBA and states she worked in corporations in the past managing million-dollar budgets but provides NO specific information to support this claim. She is primarily an author of books on raising children which include studies done by others. The Healy School petition does state they intend to use a workbook she authored for each student. In addition to writing how-to books on raising happy children, she has additionally written blogs for Psychology Today and has been a speaker on a speaker’s circuit. Ms. Healy is primarily an author.
Her co-founder Dr. Jon Herzenberg also has a PhD in Psychology and states he has had a private therapy practice in Marin for years though he currently does not hold an active California state psychotherapist’s license. He is currently working as a school counselor at the Brandeis school.
In the past, he was an associate Dean for students at Drew, a private High School in San Francisco with an annual (per year) Tuition of $55,900. In this role, Dr. Herzenberg was NOT the School Director or Principal equivalent known as “Head of School” at Drew, OR the “Head of Academics” OR the “Chief Financial Officer” (CFO) but the person who oversaw counseling services for students, implemented discipline, worked as a liaison for the “Parent/Guardian” group. (ie, Parent/Teacher Association) and evaluated Teachers.
Following this Dr. Herzenberg worked for 3 years at the Japanese American school in Tokyo (annual tuition $30,000) where he was a Principal for High School students. One clue as to the student population at this private school was an admission requirement that at least 1 parent be fluent in speaking AND writing in English.
In the recent past, Dr. Herzenberg took a position for one year as High School Principal at San Domenico School (annual tuition for High School students $48,000) before taking his current position as a school counselor at Brandeis School (tuition $40,000 per year for High School students).
Dr. Herzenberg has had limited experience in actually being the top administrator of a school and despite the fact that he has lived in Marin for over 20 years where we have excellent public schools has never worked as an educator in a public school.
But DON’T WORRY FOLKS, BECAUSE:
Advising Ms. Healy and Dr. Herzenberg are a Board of Directors also exclusively associated with private school credentials.
The Healy Board of Directors will approve “… all budget-related and financial activities connected to the Charter School.”
Let’s meet the Board of Directors who will oversee the “Healy School Charter” budget obtained from public funds taken out of the NUSD budget:
Current Dean of 12th grade at the Bay School (annual tuition $55,950) and Humanities Teacher, prior Dean of English studies at Drew (Tuition $55,900 per year) and teacher at San Francisco High School (Tuition $56,570) and Marlborough High School in Los Angeles (Tuition $47,400)
Director of IT at Drew School (Tuition $55,900 per year), previously a teacher at the private Indiana High School in Carmel Indiana (annual Tuition $22,990 )
Associate Director of Middle School at
(Tuition $45,775 for middle school annually).Healy School projected budget
(Source: Healy Charter Petition: pg 206)
And what is the proposed Healy School Budget that this group will oversee:
To put this in perspective, The “Healy School” proposed 5-year budget, overseen by folks WHO HAVE ONLY WORKED AT EXPENSIVE PRIVATE SCHOOLS FOR THEIR ENTIRE CAREERS, is asking for $14 million (yes! 14 MILLION DOLLARS) over the next 5 years to fund this charter school that offers NOTHING that NUSD doesn’t currently offer with a budget overseen by a bunch of folks who have spent their entire Education careers working at expensive tony private schools. And an author of pop-psychology books on raising kids.
In other words, this budget is REMOVING $14 million dollars from ALL our NUSD schools one year after we almost closed an elementary school due to budget issues.
It is hard not to sense that this group would like to start a private school with public school funds instead of going through the hard work of raising private funds for their own private school.
Ms. Healy states in her proposal that she would “like to leave a positive legacy.”
Would taking $14 million dollars out of a public school district that almost closed an elementary school last year due to budget shortfalls, that serves ALL children in Novato including foster children, low-income children, kids with disabilities and new English language learners, to fund a school headed by a group of private school educators with NO public school experience qualify for leaving a “positive legacy”?
We at “Save our Novato Schools” would strongly disagree.
What Can NUSD Parents Do:
*Sign the “No on Healy Charter” Petition above
*Email the School Board Trustees
*Show up at the Board meeting that will decide this pending Charter on Tuesday 11/29/22.