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To: The Laboratory Schools Community
From: David Fithian, Executive Vice President, University of Chicago, and David Kistenbroker, Chair, Laboratory Schools Board
Subject: Appointment of the Laboratory Schools Director
June 5, 2017
We are delighted to share with you the news that University President Robert J. Zimmer, upon the recommendation of a search advisory committee and the Laboratory Schools Board, has appointed Charles (Charlie) H. Abelmann to an initial five-year term as Director of the Laboratory Schools, commencing July 1, 2017. Charlie will also be engaged with educational initiatives at the University, contributing his expertise to those initiatives and fostering partnerships and programs of mutual benefit for Lab and the University.
The Search Advisory Committee, which was unanimous in its enthusiasm for Charlie's candidacy, was impressed with his deep commitment to teaching and learning that recognizes the whole child and is responsive to student passion. Colleagues with whom he has worked before praised his strong analytical skills, his embrace of experimentation and collaboration, his compassion, and his ability to provide visionary leadership. Charlie is very excited about the richness of the educational experience he found at Lab and is eager to work with us all to pursue opportunities that further enhance the excellence of what we offer to our students.
We also hope you will join us in expressing great appreciation to Beth Harris who admirably led the Schools over the past year, guiding us through this transition with her deep understanding of the Lab community and commitment to advancing the very special education that Lab affords. We will continue to benefit from Beth's broad experience, strong connections to the University and community, and wisdom about Lab as she has agreed to serve as an advisor to Charlie and a resource to Lab's leadership team through the fall term.
Finally, we wish to thank all of you who were engaged and active participants in our search process. Your input informed the search in many important ways and helped guide us to what we believe is a great outcome.
Search Advisory Committee
Sidney Lee, ’80
Jason Tyler, ’89
Staff to the Committee