May 2017

Cross Schools Welcomes Brad Schultz: Right Place, Right Time for New Head of School

Author: Linda S. Hopkins | Photographer: Luis Barrero

What happens when your favorite vacation destination collides with a perfect career opportunity? You move! Some might call it a lucky break, but for Brad Schultz, the chance to relocate to the Lowcountry and put his talents to work as head of school at Cross Schools in Bluffton is a leap of faith, as he follows the path that God has set before him.

Schultz is moving to Bluffton from Atlanta, Georgia, where he has served Greater Atlanta Christian School in various capacities over the past 17 years—most recently as lower school principal as well as chief innovation officer (CINO) for the entire school. Just as his previous job title suggests, Schultz’s strength is fostering innovation and growth. “So many times, people come up with a good idea and then it gets left on the table,” he said. “My job was to take those ideas further by bringing teams together to explore them and bring them to fruition.”

As of June 1, Schultz will officially step into his new role at Cross Schools—a position that fits his academic qualifications and career experience as well as his family values and personal goals. “For me, it was very important to stay in Christian education. I wanted a school that I felt was excited about, and open to innovations,” he said. “I wanted to be at a school that was interested not in just maintaining, but wanted to grow, be innovative, and help shape education, and I really felt like that was what was going on here at Cross Schools.”

Indeed, the future is bright at Cross Schools, where plans for expansion are on track for groundbreaking in June of this year, with completion by the summer of 2018. The building program consists of adding classroom space to accommodate growth in both the preschool and K-8, and to take steps toward adding a high school program.

“It will have a very innovative feel to it,” Schultz said, explaining one of his contributions to the design: entire walls that can be opened to the outdoors. “Let’s change the mindset of what a classroom is,” he said. “We’ve got such a beautiful outdoor area, and we should be taking advantage of that learning space.” Schultz also wants to create a floating classroom. “Why read a book about it or watch a video when we can go experience it?”

In addition, Schultz is looking to broaden the students’ understanding of and use of technology. “I have partnered with Apple and Microsoft in the past to help them with their research. It’s not about this brand or that brand; we are looking to decide what devices are the best to put in children’s hands for this coming year,” he said.

With all the talk about growth, changes and innovation, the school’s emphasis on Christian values remains.

“That’s one of the great things about Cross Schools: It is a strong academic school with a true Christian environment. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other,” Schultz said. “Faith-based teaching really goes into everything we do. It’s also a way to counsel children and guide them. If they are having a struggle, the Bible is such a good resource. The principles we are teaching and focusing on are ones that any Christian parent would want to see their children learn and demonstrate.”

Headmistresses Shawn Young (K-8) and Susan Hackett (Preschool) will remain in their positions. “They have done a such a good job of building a strong foundation and have shaped the school into what it is today,” Schultz said. “My role as head of school is new to the school. The goal of the board in bringing me here was to unify the school and bring that ‘wow’ factor in. Sharing some of the things I’ve done in the past, they wanted those things here at Cross Schools.”

From a personal standpoint, Bluffton is an ideal home for the new head of school, who brings with him his wife Monica (a third-grade teacher) and seven-year-old son, Dawson. Monica is taking one year off to help with the transition, but she plans to teach here in the future. Dawson will be a second grader at Cross Schools. “I’m not only coming here to work, but I’m excited about my son having the opportunity to go to school here and learn in this environment,” Schultz said.

So far, Schultz said he is impressed with the restaurants, the natural beauty, the abundance of activities, and the friendliness of the people here. He enjoys tennis, golf, biking, and the beach and is looking forward to new experiences. “I made a list of things I want to learn to do (like how to sail) and things I want to try that are different from where I lived. Oh, and by the way, what is a no-see-um?”

Schultz will get to know the invisible flying gnats, soon enough. But for now, he’s trusting that God has planted him in the right place at the right time. “This was the perfect place and the perfect school,” he said. “You can make a list…but in the end, this just felt right.”

Cross Schools is an independent Christian school, located at 495 Buckwalter Parkway in Bluffton. For more information or to schedule a visit, call (843) 706-2000, or visit online at crossschools.org.

Let Us Know what You Think ...

commenting closed for this article


Social Bookmarks