Introducing Our New Upper School Director Dr. Ara Brown

Poly is thrilled to announce that Dr. Ara Brown has accepted Poly’s offer to become our next Upper School Director beginning July 1, 2021. In his move across the country from Washington, D.C., Ara will bring with him a broad and substantive educational and professional background. 

Ara earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. He earned the following two master’s degrees at Teachers College, Columbia: an M.A. in Organizational Psychology and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology. Ara was awarded an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with a focus on instructional, organizational, public, and evidence-based leadership from University of Pennsylvania.

Ara’s work at Whittle School and Studios, Cranbrook Kingswood School, The Williston Northampton School, and The Klingenstein Center has put him in leadership roles with faculty, staff, and students. A dedicated teacher, he also has experience in student programming including health, advisory, and safety; he has overseen faculty hiring, evaluation, and support. Ara has worked with curriculum development, mastery-based assessment, educational policy, and innovation. In addition, Ara has experience in admission and DEI, and he is also nationally recognized for his writing and presentations.

Ara was born and raised in New Jersey. His wife, Nola-rae, is a middle school administrator. The Browns have two children, Kalah (19) and Noah (16).

Our process to find the next director of the Upper School included partnering with Coreen Hester at RG175 and working with our Search Advisory Committee which was comprised of the following people: Ye Dam Alicea, Maite Bernath, Marge Kenny, Jack Prater, Mark Rasic, Chris Schmoke, Laurianne Williams, and Aquita Winslow. In addition, the process involved several days of interviews with small and large constituency groups including students, faculty, staff, and parents. 

The Poly community looks forward to welcoming Ara and his family to Poly, and to be a part of his leadership of our vibrant Upper School learning community.