Amanda Announcement

CSCS Leadership Transition

Dear Cottonwood School Community,

I am writing to share that after 15 wonderful years at Cottonwood, I will be departing at the end of this school year.

My time here has been filled with immense joy, growth, learning, and love. From starting as a CSCS parent to becoming a substitute teacher, and eventually taking on the role of kindergarten teacher, those early years nurtured both me and my family. Later, serving as the Academic Director and then Executive Director, I have cherished nearly every moment.

Together, we have navigated numerous milestones. We developed programs such as Adventure Play, Animal Families, Adopt-a-Place, and Plant Teachings. We built a strong place-based school that is admired nationwide, with over 150 fieldwork experiences just this year! We proudly ushered in our new name, stayed resilient through the pandemic, and stood united during times of protest. We built cherished traditions like the annual school musical, all-school meetings, and for a while, the parent band, enriching the lives of our students and strengthening our community bonds.

I am grateful for the support, collaboration, and dedication of each one of you. Your commitment to our students and school has been inspiring, and it has been an honor to work alongside such a passionate and caring community.

As I prepare for this next chapter, I carry with me countless memories and a sense of accomplishment. Cottonwood School will always hold a special place in my heart, and I look forward to seeing its continued growth and success.

Thank you for the incredible journey.

With gratitude,

Dear Cottonwood Community,

On behalf of the Cottonwood Board of Directors, we want to wish Amanda McAdoo all the best in her next adventures. During her tenure, Amanda has been the driving force behind so many of our school’s achievements and cherished moments and she’s worked tirelessly to advance our mission, enhance our programs, and build an intentional community among teachers, staff and families. This will be revered and is a huge part of what makes Cottonwood so special and loved by us all!

Building on the strong foundation Amanda helped build, we remain excited about the future and direction of this school. The board met with staff earlier today to share our strategic plan with them first. We are thrilled to announce that Aviva McClure will serve as Interim Principal and the organization’s Executive Director for the 2024-2025 school year. We are honored that Aviva will serve in a development and bridge-building role to help retain critical knowledge and operational stability for the school to carry on its mission and values for years to come.

Our administrative hiring committee is also nearing the end of the interview process for a new Academic Director to directly support our teachers and staff next year. We are excited about the well-qualified candidates currently under consideration, and how their backgrounds support both the strengths and needs at Cottonwood. We look forward to the new Academic Director becoming an excellent long-term partner with our community.

The board, Amanda, Aviva, and the exceptional Cottonwood staff are committed to ensure that the remainder of the school year continues without interruption and will work to make this transition as seamless as possible. Change is a part of the living process and we honor the place in our hearts and our minds where this process affects us in our community together. We rely on the teachings our children share with us and the wisdom of our place. It is a time for the flexibility the Willow teaches and also an exciting new time to make use of the wisdom of the Alder as we engage in new ways of building this community and nurturing it all while protecting the wellspring, our Cottonwood students.

The Wild Strawberry teaches us to embrace the gifts of the moment, which includes gathering joy, celebrating, cultivating optimism, and reflecting; we are both grateful for the legacy Amanda leaves behind and the new exciting adventures ahead for The Cottonwood School! Please join us in expressing our heartfelt gratitude to Amanda for her many years of service and incredible contributions to our community! We will be hosting a special farewell event to celebrate her achievements and provide an opportunity for personal goodbyes–stay tuned for details!

Thank you, to you, the Cottonwood Community, for all of your trust, unwavering support, and understanding as we transition through these changes.

Yours In Community,
Cottonwood Board of Directors
Mari Van Sickle, Kyle Roy, Jonathan Moore, Jill Charno, Matthew Claudel, Alicia Moody and Julia Jarrett

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