Manhattan Country School
Michѐle Solá recently retired after 25 years as director of Manhattan Country School. MCS is a pre-K through 8th grade school founded in 1966 as a private school with a public mission where racial and economic integration would define the enrollment and the curriculum. Public school partnerships led to curriculum development, literacy projects, and the founding of alternative and charter schools on the MCS model. During her tenure, MCS became a resource for people seeking models of racial and economic diversity and equity in schools, culturally relevant curriculum, social justice and activism, multi-cultural community-building, sliding-scale tuition, and farm-based education. In 2008, Michѐle was selected for the heads-of- school program at the Klingenstein Center (Teachers College). Based on her project, the MCS board adopted strategic goals for MCS 2020 that resulted in relocating and doubling enrollment from 200 students. Michѐle served on the boards of Barnard School Foundation and the Progressive Education Network (which hosted a 2015 conference, “Access, Equity, and Activism: Teaching the Possible.)”
Michѐle earned her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, her master’s degree in teaching from Indiana University, and her doctorate in education from Boston University. She worked with migrant farmworkers in Indiana, bilingual preschools in Boston, and communities in transition in Nicaragua and Peru. She has presented at conferences and been a consultant to schools transitioning from founding or long-serving directors to new leadership, and creating equitable learning environments in multicultural communities.