Miriam Board announces appointment of next organization-wide leader
November 15, 2021
Dear Miriam Families and Friends,
The Miriam Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Meghan Bamford as the next executive leader of Miriam School
and Learning Center, effective July 1, 2022. The Search Committee conducted a thorough process that identified outstanding candidates. The Board enthusiastically supported their recommendation with a unanimous vote of approval.The Search Committee’s support of Meg’s candidacy arose from months of careful deliberation, multiple interviews, review of in-depth application materials, personal and professional references, background checks, and faculty, parent and Board forums. In Meg’s words, she is drawn to Miriam because of its mission to change the trajectory of students’ lives not only through Miriam School and Miriam Academy, but also the extensive outreach and services that the Learning Center provides to so many children across St. Louis. She says, “I found the collective, joyful spirit of the Miriam organization’s work on behalf of children with complex learning disabilities so inspiring. To have the privilege of leading such an incredible organization into its next chapter is truly a dream come true.”
Meg has devoted her entire career to educating students with special needs. For the past four years, Meg has been the Head of Radcliffe Creek School, an independent school in Maryland with a mission very similar to Miriam’s. Before that, Meg was Director of Student Services in the Hopkinton Public Schools, New Hampshire, a senior leadership position she rose to after serving for 10 years as a reading and writing specialist. During that time, Meg also taught a methods course in teaching struggling readers and writers at Rivier University and Granite State College. Meg began her career teaching fifth grade in the inner city of Chicago. Inspired to work with children with learning differences, she then was an elementary and middle school teacher at Landmark School, in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA, a school for students with dyslexia and other language based learning differences. Meg was a unique learner herself and credits the teachers who recognized her strengths and helped her build on them as her inspiration for a career in special needs education. Meg’s desire to help students who learn differently arises from empathy, a quality that is immediately evident when you meet her.
Meg graduated with a BA in psychology and Spanish from Fairfield University in Connecticut. She earned a Master’s in Educational Psychology at Nottingham University in the United Kingdom, and another Master’s of Science in Moderate Special Needs at Simmons College in Boston. Meg met her husband, Eliot, a Nottingham native and educator, while they were working as camp counselors in Massachusetts. Next year, they will have two daughters in college and a son who will begin high school. At Radcliffe Creek School, Meg has built a strong track record of fundraising and consensus building even under difficult circumstances through the pandemic. The Search Committee feels very confident that Meg is just the kind of leader we need in order to unite Miriam’s programs and services into one cohesive organization and brand, and carry Miriam forward into a strong future.
Meg’s appointment as Head of School and Learning Center Elect concludes a rigorous search process that began last December when Andy Thorp announced his intention to conclude his remarkable tenure as Executive Director. Rather than race into a very late head search, the Board appointed Bill Florent as Interim Executive Director, providing themselves with time to reflect on the ideal structure for leadership going forward. In April, the Board appointed a Search Committee, led by Andy Greenberg, and contracted with search consultants from Gowan Group. Together, they developed a Position Statement describing Miriam and the opportunities it has before it. Over the summer, the consultants identified and vetted candidates from across the country and the world. The Search Committee narrowed the applicant pool to seven semifinalists and, ultimately, three finalists who each spent a day and a half meeting with trustees, faculty, staff, students, parents, and senior administrators.
I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to Andy Greenberg and the Search Committee for their thoughtful diligence. We look forward to celebrating Bill Florent for his interim leadership this spring and to welcoming Meg Bamford and her family when they arrive for good this summer and, with a little good fortune, in the new year on a scheduled visit or two. Stay tuned next week for a letter from Meg introducing herself and her family.
Thank you for your support and feedback throughout this process. We are truly excited to welcome the Bamfords to the Miriam community!
Trish Winchell, President
Miriam Board of Directors