Since late December, the Board of Directors has been actively involved in a national search for Jupiter Christian School's next president. The search process is now complete, and we are pleased to announce that Dr. Seth R. Cohen has been unanimously selected to serve as the next president of Jupiter Christian School, effective July 1, 2020.
Dr. Cohen emerged early in our search this year when we were made aware of his availability in January by a presidential search firm. As you may recall, Dr. Cohen was a candidate for the JCS president position last year. During that search, he was extensively vetted by the Board. He also participated in interview sessions with JCS faculty, staff, and parents. As a result of that process last year, Dr. Cohen was overwhelmingly recommended by each constituency, and he was offered the position of president of JCS. He was unable, however, to assume the role with JCS since the Cohen family was subsequently informed that they needed to remain in the Dominican Republic as a requirement in the process to adopt their youngest child.
Originally from New York City, Dr. Cohen holds an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from Temple University, an M.B.A. from Dowling College, and a B.A. from Wheaton College.
Dr. Cohen currently serves as the Executive Director of the Santiago Christian School in Santiago, the Dominican Republic, a position he has held for nine years. Prior to his tenure at Santiago Christian School, Dr. Cohen served as Headmaster for fourteen years at Spruce Hill Christian School and City Center Academy in Philadelphia, PA, two schools that he successfully merged into one entity, now called The City School. From 1995-1997 he served as assistant head of school, director of development and middle school principal at the Cornerstone Christian Academy in Philadelphia. From 1989-1995 Dr. Cohen served as associate director of admissions, teacher of European and African-American history, dormitory head, and football coach at the prestigious Stony Brook School in Stony Brook, NY, the school from which he graduated before accepting a football scholarship to attend Wheaton College. Following graduation from Wheaton College, Dr. Cohen and his new wife, Anne, remained in Chicago where they served as senior house parents to abused boys, aged 6 to 18 at the Lydia Children's Home. From this experience, the Lord laid adoption on the Cohen's hearts and five of their seven children are adopted.
Dr. Cohen has served on the board of directors of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), has twice addressed the White House Forum on Urban Faith-Based Schools, has hosted five delegations of US State Legislators through the Milton Freeman Foundation and has worked with members of the US Congress to establish the first National Prayer Breakfast in the Dominican Republic.
DEMONSTRATED ACCOMPLISHMENTS AT SANTIAGO CHRISTIAN SCHOOL:
When Dr. Cohen first assumed its leadership, Santiago Christian School (SCS) focused primarily on providing a quality American education for children of North American missionaries. Never losing focus on the original mission, SCS has emerged as the "school of choice" for the highest business, government, & industrial leaders, as well as professional athletes in the Dominican Republic. These parents prize the educational quality of the school and the opportunity for their children to become fluent in English.
Among Dr. Cohen's numerous accomplishments at Santiago Christian School: adopting new standards and revising curriculum at all levels to be on par with top level US schools, including enriching the reading and social studies programs, enhancing the STEM program with robotics, implementation of the Full Option Science System (FOSS) science curriculum in grades K-4 and aligning the curriculum to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS); adding advanced courses in high school honors, AP and dual enrollment with US universities; developing a number of spiritual life programs that included multiple Bible studies for the school community; developing a student leadership program that resulted in the creation of the Santiago Institute for Leadership and Justice; implementing a spiritual life campaign to engage students and parents in raising funds or donating items for communities in need in the local area or abroad; enhancing the fine arts program, which involved the creation of a Fine Arts Society for students to promote engagement with local arts events, and the establishment of a Fine Arts Council, composed of parents, students, and teachers who promote the arts at the school and in the community. The athletic program has become a strong competitor, winning a number of championships and there has been a remarkable increase in parent attendance and engagement in the sports program.
Under Dr. Cohen's leadership, admissions increased significantly to nearly full capacity, with waiting lists, and counseling services were increased to include quality college advising, as well as, preventative services to address mental health needs. Additionally, employee compensation and benefits were increased and a number of faculty holding Doctoral and Master's degrees were intentionally recruited and hired. Increased opportunities for faculty development continue to be a priority focus at SCS. During Dr. Cohen's tenure, over $3 million was raised from both US and Dominican donors. Under his administration, $750.000 was invested in infrastructure, security, and a renovation of the sports/arts complex. Additionally, a new ten-classroom solar-powered building was constructed featuring a state-of-the-art science laboratory.
Dr. Cohen's references include many leaders in Christian education in the US and aboard. James Marsh, Director of Institutional Reviews for the Council on Educational Standard and Accountability (CESA) writes: "Seth is a passionate, visionary leader with a deep sense of calling and indefatigable energy. His love for the Lord and the students, staff, and the SCS community are constantly on display as he both tells and shapes to the story of a truly remarkable school. His strong relational skills enable him to recruit talented educators and leaders who share his passion and calling."
Dr. Jay Ferguson, chair of CESA, president of the Texas Private Schools Association and a member of the executive board of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) says of Dr. Cohen, "Despite the natural challenges of operating in an international context, Seth built a school that would rival any in the US in educational and operational excellence. He is a visionary leader who can execute on the vision to bring it to fruition. He sees the best in people and has a passion for bringing it forth. He has a great eye for talent and an ability to recruit it."
Dr. Phillip Ryken, the president of Wheaton College and his former pastor at the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia shares "Dr. Cohen has provided visionary leadership for three Christian schools, all of which grew to new levels of excellence under his leadership. He is an excellent recruiter- someone who is able to build a new team to transform the culture of an institution. He is an exceptional relationship-builder and nurtures a network of connections that is both broad and deep (not only in the Christian community but beyond). He is an effective delegator, who cast a clear vision and then gives other leaders the opportunity to implement the vision according to their own gifts."
THE COHEN FAMILY:
Seth and Anne met as boarding school students at the Stony Brook School in New York. They graduated from Wheaton College and were married in 1988. Anne has a BA in English from Wheaton and an MSW in social work from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is the sole proprietor of Right at Home Homestay, LLC in Philadelphia, which serves international students and professors from the U. of Pennsylvania, Drexel and Temple Universities.
Daughters Deborah and Eliyanah will be joining their parents at JCS. Deborah (13) is a joyful seventh graders whose favorite subject in social studies. She loves soccer, theater, choir and worship band (guitar). Eliyanah (11) is a happy sixth grader whose favorite subject is math. She loves soccer, visual arts, theater, chess and robotics.
Noah (27) earned a BA and Master's in Special Education at Liberty University. He teaches Middle School Special Education and coaches robotics at SCS.
Josiah (26) graduated from Wheaton College with a BA in Music (Bassoon) and is working on his Juris Doctorate at the University of Colorado, with an emphasis on immigration law. He is married to Erin (25) whom he met at Wheaton College. Following her BA in Psychology from Wheaton, she earned her MSW from the University of Denver and works with severely mentally ill adults in their recovery.
Sarah (23) graduated from Wheaton with a BA in Political Science and is working on her master's degree in Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership at Wheaton. She has been the communication and marketing manager, as well as, the model United Nations coach at SCS.
Isaiah (21) is studying Sports Management in the School of Business at Cairn University. His passion is sports ministry.
Hannah went home to Jesus in 2008 at the age of 16 after a five-year battle against Primary Pulmonary Hypertension.
Anne's widowed mother lives with the Cohen family and will be joining them in their move to Jupiter.
Dr. Cohen is well-acquainted with Palm Beach County from numerous visits over the years with his father and stepmother who are long-time residents of West Palm Beach. Additionally, Seth has an established on-going relationship Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) wherein many PBA education students have completed their student teaching experience at SCS, with a number of them staying on to become full-time employees.
Seth and Anne have been members in good standing at Tenth Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Philadelphia for over 20 years. During their nine years in Santiago, they have been global associates at Tenth, assisting in the establishment of a seminary for local pastors that is hosted at SCS. In Santiago, the Cohens are actively involved in the leadership of a tri-lingual (Spanish, Creole, English) non-denominational church, serving mostly poor families in a nearby barrio.
COMMENT FROM DR. COHEN:
"It is with great joy and humbled heart that I look forward to leading Jupiter Christian School as its next president. I am honored to reinforce its extraordinary commitment to excellence in teaching the mind, reaching the heart, and inspiring servant leaders who will impact the world for Jesus Christ. I am honored to join the JCS community at such a time as this, because you know who you are. As an exemplar of academic distinction and Gospel truth, Jupiter Christian's Promise will remain the foundation for scholastic advancement and spiritual formation—educating students in a nurturing community to excel in life and engage the world. JCS's future is as bright as its legacy of instructing minds, molding hearts, and empowering leaders with the integrity and confidence they need to meaningfully engage and influence the world for Jesus Christ. I am truly excited for all that God has in store for JCS as we link arms to take on His work together."
Please join with us in officially welcoming the Cohens to JCS!