After 47 years in education, The Independent Day School’s Dr. Marijke Kehrhahn officially retired on June 30th. Dr. K, which she was affectionately called by the IDS community, served as the Head of School for the past six years, and was previously associated with the school as a Board Trustee and a parent of an IDS student.
“My daughter began Kindergarten at IDS in 1995,” Dr. Kehrhahn reflected. “From that first day, I found a school community that was welcoming, inclusive, and diverse. I formed partnerships with my daughter’s teachers and experienced their professionalism and commitment to children. I made lifelong friendships with parents of other children in my child’s class. When I was invited to join the Board of Trustees, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to help shape the school’s future and support IDS’ mission as the school grew and changed. When I was invited to become Head of School in 2016, I could not have been more excited to take on the challenge of leading the school; it has been the perfect ending to my career. During the last six years, I have worked side by side with faculty, administrators, parents, and trustees to strengthen the school’s curriculum, make significant improvements to the school’s facilities, form stronger connections between academic and social/emotional learning, and build a community united in providing a high quality education to every student. I am truly grateful for the faith and trust the IDS community has provided me as Head of School - it has been a life-changing experience!”
While Dr. Kehrhahn did a tremendous amount of work centered around the school’s curriculum, facilities, and social and emotional learning, she was most vital to IDS’ success when she helped guide the school through the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“I am most proud of the way our school community pulled together during the pandemic,” she said. “While many schools struggled with community buy-in to the procedures that were required during COVID, the IDS community conscientiously joined in doing everything we could to keep students healthy and in school. As a result, we were able to have all of our students in school every day with no interruptions in their academic and social learning. I am not only proud of but deeply grateful for the cooperation and commitment of IDS employees and families over the past two years.”
Although she admittedly cannot wait to not have to set her alarm clock for 5:15 a.m. every morning, she will most miss IDS’ weekly all-school meetings where the entire community joins together as one to share news, ideas, and sing the school song.
“IDS has something very special to offer - a solid, multi-faceted education within a caring, compassionate community,” she said. “We are educating not just good students but good people. These values have been rooted in the very core of our school since its founding in 1961 and IDS will continue to thrive because of its unique brand. IDS will continue to grow and change as the world continues to grow and change, but its fundamental values will remain strong in the years to come.”