“I really feel so strongly about making life choices,” Glickman said. “I told the students that this is not about me moving on to another job. It is about all of us making life choices that integrate our family life, individual interests and professional growth, and about continually learning.”
Glickman, who has her Ph.D. from USC, is a living example of someone who has integrated her values, work and personal life in the growth she has instigated at the school, as well as in the manner in which she is leaving. In January 2008, Glickman will become head of school for the Sage Hill School in Newport Beach. But for six months between her jobs, she and her husband, Bud, have opted to take a personal-growth sabbatical overseas, spending time together and fulfilling a lifelong personal dream of enjoying travel, photography and reading in exotic locations.
The Glickmans’ current plans include home stays in Marrakech, Morocco and New York City, but they will also spend time in London and with grandchildren.
Glickman’s creative approach to life has extended into the work she has done at La Jolla Country Day. Her leadership has been called visionary, and she hopes she has left her students with an understanding of the importance of living a life of vision, imagination and passion.
“If you visualize yourself on the back of the camel traveling through the Atlas Mountains,” Glickman said, using an analogy from her upcoming trip to Morocco, “you can plan backwards. You think about how you’re going to include the Atlas Mountains in your life and see how to use that opportunity to catapult yourself to the next stage.”
Everything we do, Glickman believes, can be woven into the fabric of our lives and become part of our personal, interpersonal and professional growth.
When she came to Country Day in 2001, Glickman found a school with excellent academics and a globally-reaching program which focused mainly on European cultures. The school offered Spanish and French instruction and overseas travel to some European countries. Glickman was hired, in part, because of her desire to extend those offerings to include a broader vision of the world.
“Our program now emphasizes cultural and language immersion and service learning,” Glickman said.
She described a recent trip she took with a group of students to Ecuador.
“We were immersed in Incan culture,” Glickman said. “We did home stays and lived within a self-sustaining community.”
Glickman described how students worked with the locals to build a community store and tend an organic garden and helped teach English to the community.
“That, to me, embodies everything that is important to our students’ future,” Glickman said. “At this point, their world is the full world and they need to have a clear understanding of cultures beyond their homeland, a firm ability to express themselves in other languages and a clear understanding of how much of an ability they have to make a difference.”
Under Glickman’s leadership, Country Day has expanded exchange programs to send students and faculty to Ecuador, Nicaragua, Tanzania and Shanghai. Part of the exchanges focuses on language. The school’s most recent debate is whether to include Mandarin or Arabic as a third language choice. But much of the exchange program’s focus is on service learning.
“In Africa, we had a group of students in Tanzania working to establish a school partnership,” Glickman said. “Now they are fund-raising to provide money for a student to have a full scholarship to attend school. The students went there to identify what global issue they wanted to take on and they decided to focus on education.”
But Glickman’s vision of a global community includes the small scale, as well: the school community. She believes it is important to foster personal growth in every member of the school community, not just the students.
“I think it’s important for everyone to be a lifelong learner,” Glickman said, “As well as to be on the cutting edge of what can be. We need to be able to imagine the possibilities.”
Glickman’s encouragement has led to a number of cutting-edge collaborations among Country Day faculty.
“Some of our faculty recently received a grant from the E.E. Ford Foundation, a matching grant, thanks to an endowment from a family at the school. It is the largest professional development grant they give, for faculty to develop collaboratively among themselves projects that further learning.”
Glickman described one grant-funded collaborative project by language, theater and art faculty that culminated in a trip to Guanajuato, Mexico, for a five-day immersion in local theater.
Glickman cited another cutting edge collaborative project as evidence that the school’s growth trajectory will continue long after she is gone, a combination of visual arts and science complex.
“The arts and science faculty are talking about creating a space that will accommodate the creative process, making a single complex incorporating artistic expression and scientific thought,” Glickman said.