August 18, 2019
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The Open Door School Board in conjunction with the school Search Committee are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Laura E. McCollum as Head of School effective July 1, 2019.
Dr. McCollum currently serves as the Chair of Graduate Education programs at Cairn University. She has expertise in curriculum/program design, assessment/evaluation and various levels/types of accreditation. She has been both a teacher, and an administrator, in both public and private K-12 educational settings; she holds dual credentials for both elementary and secondary teaching in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Dr. McCollum also has seasoned experience in both faculty and administrative roles in higher education; she served as an adjunct professor at both Simpson University and Seattle Pacific University, was the Director of Assessment at Oklahoma-Wesleyan University, the Teacher Education Program Chair for National University in Redding, CA and was Academic Dean and Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness & Strategic Initiatives at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA. Before coming to Cairn, Dr. McCollum was the Assistant Headmaster for Academics, Upper School Principal and Director for Institutional Effectiveness at Trinity Christian School in Fairfax, VA.
Dr. McCollum is a productive executive who has dramatically amplified the effectiveness of every institution she has served. She is a classically-oriented educator who is also attuned to the latest methods and findings. She knows how to manage people, projects and budgets gracefully while making her collaborators feel empowered and appreciated.
According to her references, one of the reasons Dr. McCollum is so effective is that her primary sense of professional identity lies not in senior leadership but in the actual work of education itself. She is, on that level, first-and-foremost a faculty member—and specifically a specialist in curriculum and teacher education who loves to equip students in the classroom. But precisely because her heart lies in the work rather than in being a senior leader, she proves most successful as a senior leader.
Most importantly of all, her trust in God—who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit— has been at the heart of every aspect of her professional work. She consistently seeks to shape education so that, as she puts it, students can be equipped with “critical minds but not critical spirits, to preserve the tender hearts that are God’s original gift to every person.”
Laura has been married to Dr. Steven McCollum (Professor & Director of Choral Activities at Cairn University) for 25 years; they have two children, Mallory (22) and Kenton (17).
We are planning a parent introductory meeting for Wednesday, June 5th at 7:00 pm in the Music Room. If you plan to join us, please contact the school office to confirm your attendance.
For His glory,
Tom Vetterani, President
Open Door Christian Academy School Board