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Longtime Head Of School To Leave Ridgefield Academy After Nearly 2 Decades

Ridgefield Academy's Head of School Jim Heus is stepping down at the end of the school year.
Ridgefield Academy's Head of School Jim Heus is stepping down at the end of the school year. Photo Credit: Contributed

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — After 19 years of dedicated leadership, Ridgefield Academy's Head of School Jim Heus will be stepping down at the completion of the 2017-18 academic year.

Since joining the Academy in 1999, Heus has led the school, which includes four preschool campuses under the Landmark Preschool name as well as the K-8 facility in Ridgefield, through growth and expansion.

“Jim helped to nourish and grow Ridgefield Academy into what it is today: an environment where advanced learning is coupled with character development, and children are empowered to become thoughtful, independent, and confident learners,” said Chairman of the Board Eric Heaton. “You often find Jim coaching, teaching classes, attending plays, or simply engaging in conversation with children in the hallway. We are deeply grateful for all he has done to lead and grow Ridgefield Academy.”

Heus led the school through a relocation from Wilton to its current Ridgefield location in his first year of leadership.

In fall 2001, the Academy received its first 10-year accreditation from CAIS (CT Association of Independent Schools). Heus also oversaw the creation of the Ridgefield campus preschool and orchestrated the purchase of the school’s facilities, the expansion of the Westport preschool campus, the renovation of the Annex Building for the newly formed Middle and Upper School, the construction of the 6,000-square-foot digital arts facility called the Bridge, and the opening of the Bedford preschool campus.

Under his leadership, Ridgefield Academy also developed and launched a number of academic programs and initiatives, including a character development program, a redefined middle school (Grades 4 & 5) with expanded programming, a digital arts curriculum, and The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning.

“The school is well positioned for fresh, new leadership, and I am ready to enthusiastically embrace the next chapter of my life,” Heus said in a statement.

Succeeding Heus will be Thomas Main, a former eight-year member of the Ridgefield Academy Board of Trustees and current Head at King School, a K-12 independent school in Stamford.

Main will officially take the Ridgefield Academy helm July 1, 2018.

"Tom shares a commitment and mindset to lead this wonderful school and will be a great asset to our school community,” said Heus. “We are excited to have someone with his extensive experience and demonstrated independent school leadership join us and help build on our strong foundation.”

Ridgefield Academy is at 223 W. Mountain Road.

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