Prep for Prep's Next Chief Executive Officer

Prep for Prep’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Ruth Jurgensen to serve as the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer.
The Board of Trustees of Prep for Prep announced the appointment of Ruth Jurgensen to serve as the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1, 2020. She succeeds Aileen Hefferren, who last fall informed the Prep Community of her intention to step down at the end of June after 25 years of service. Ruth currently serves as Associate Principal at Francis W. Parker School, a highly regarded co-ed JK-12 day school of 900+ students in Chicago.

"Ruth Jurgensen is the ideal person to lead Prep into its next era as we advance our vital mission," said Scott Bok, Chair, and Lisa Cashin, President of Prep’s Board of Trustees. "Her history and professional record demonstrate her commitment to quality education and her outstanding leadership abilities, particularly in academic settings, as she has helped grow and develop prominent independent schools in both New York City and Chicago. We are confident that under Ruth’s energetic leadership Prep will thrive as it serves new generations of diverse, outstanding young leaders." 

"I am thrilled to become the leader of this extraordinary organization which has helped so many amazing young people of color to realize their full potential through equal access to the best educational institutions," said Ruth. "From my years at Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School, I am intimately familiar with the outstanding work Prep does to support its students academically, emotionally, and practically, both in and outside of school. Now, working with Prep’s Board, its exceptional team of professionals, committed families, and dedicated independent school partners, I look forward to fulfilling Prep’s mission, as we continue to assure that exceptionally bright, highly motivated students have equal opportunity to become future leaders who will reflect the rich diversity of our nation and our world. Prep’s unique, holistic approach to leadership development gives me unlimited confidence in how much we can accomplish together." 

A passionate teacher and education leader, Ruth has more than a decade of experience serving in senior leadership positions at independent schools in New York City and Chicago. In her current role as Associate Principal at Francis W. Parker School, she manages the day to day operations, overseeing the educational program including 21 academic Department Chairs, the Directors of Studies, the Athletic Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinators and Co-Chairs, as well as operational areas including security and maintenance, facilities, and food service. Her recent work included helping to develop and implement the school’s pandemic crisis preparation and response. During her six-year tenure at Parker, she has served as a key member of the senior leadership team and driven new initiatives including the creation of an endowed speaker series and the Young Men of Color Symposium which she brought to the midwest. Ruth founded the Administrators of Color in Independent Schools Conference. 

Prior to Parker, Ruth served as the High School Principal of Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI) in New York City where she was a member of the executive leadership team and oversaw the expansion of the campus and student body. In addition to her academic administrative experience, she serves in a leadership role on the Board of The Dovetail Project which supports young fathers of color in Chicago. 

She earned a Masters Degree in English and American Literature from Brown University and an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Connecticut College.

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Prep for Prep is grateful to the Trustees comprising the Search Committee for their thoughtfulness and commitment: Scott Bok, Lisa Cashin, Frank Bynum, Yahonnes Cleary (P9 V), Chris James (IX), Sue Meng (XV), Jeannemarie O’Brien, and Chris Ortega. Finally, we are forever grateful to Aileen Hefferren for her contributions to the Prep Community and her legacy of service.

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