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North Cedar Academy Transitions to New Leadership

Don Smith takes over for retiring Mario Friedel
North Cedar Academy
18 Apr 2017

North Cedar Academy Transitions to New Leadership

North Cedar Academy

Retiring Interim Executive Director Mario Friedel

Mario Friedel, Interim Executive Director of North Cedar Academy (NCA), has announced his retirement to the NCA Board of Trustees.  Mr. Friedel has served NCA as an administrator, teacher, mentor, and community liaison since its opening in 2014 – overseeing significant growth in both enrollment and programs during his tenure. A major accomplishment of Mr. Friedel is a school satisfaction rate of 93%, based on a recent survey of NCA students and parents. “Opening a new, private boarding school in Rusk County has been a wonderful opportunity,” states Mr. Friedel. “We are proud to say that our efforts are paying off with an expanded curriculum, a caring and committed staff, and a great student experience.” Another contribution of Mr. Friedel is the establishment of NCA’s popular music program. “As a universal language, music has the power to unite the many cultures that are represented at North Cedar Academy,” states Mr. Friedel.

North Cedar Academy

Incoming Executive Director Don Smith

The Board has named Donald W. Smith as the School’s Executive Director beginning July 1, 2017. Don is currently the Deputy Director of School at NCA.  Don is a member of the Senior Leadership Team at NCA and has already directed much of the School’s work in the Ladysmith and Rusk County Community.

Mr. Smith is a tested independent school administrator, has served in leadership roles at The Cate School, CA, Cranbrook Schools, MI, the Leman International School, Chengdu, China, and most recently as the Executive Director of The Ross School, the largest private boarding school in New York.  Mr. Smith is a recipient of the Bretnall Award, considered by many to be the highest award granted to independent school leaders. Mr. Smith has served as the Executive Director of the Western Boarding Schools Association and is a past President of the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners.

Mr. Smith stated that he is “excited to oversee continued growth at NCA, and looks forward to continuing our work at NCA and in the Ladysmith and Rusk County community.  We have great relationships with the School District of Ladysmith, with the Ladysmith Area Chamber, and with many other partners in the area, and we all look forward to playing a leadership role in providing educational opportunities and programs for students in the area.  Foremost of these programs is the North Cedar Academy Early Pathway program – a joint program of NCA and University of Wisconsin Colleges, that allows NCA juniors and seniors to earn up to 2 full years of UW credit while attending NCA.”

NCA is currently searching for a new Director of Academic Affairs to lead NCA curriculum development, university counseling, and faculty assessment.