The Tahoe Expedition Academy has hired David Maher as its new head of school. Maher comes to Tahoe Expedition Academy by way of Colorado, South Korea and Southern California. With more than 30 years as a teacher, academic mentor and administrator in both public and independent schools Maher will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Tahoe Expedition Academy.
“Finding the next leader of TEA, that perfect person who understands the unique nature of this school, has been a long time in the works,” said current co-director Taylor Simmers. “The school is on solid footing, and we continue to recruit and retain fantastic educators. David will be an amazing leader to help guide TEA into its next chapter, as education around the world continues to change.”
In the fall of 2020, a committee of faculty, staff and board members worked with a search firm to help them find a new head of school. After an exhaustive interview process, the school hired Maher as their new leader.
“During the interview process, and after meeting on campus with students, faculty and parents I was just so impressed with the comprehensive and thorough process that enabled me to see the TEA magic. It’s not a tangible thing, but something you can really feel within the TEA community. I was so inspired and knew that I wanted to be a part of it,” said Maher.
Maher’s immediate mandate is to continue to support the students, faculty and staff at Tahoe Expedition Academy. Long term, his job will be to tell the story of Tahoe Expedition Academy, share its successes and build on the foundation that the Tahoe Expedition Academy community has spent the past decade creating.
The Tahoe Expedition Academy all started ten years ago when a group of like-minded people came up with a revolutionary idea — get kids outside of the classroom during the school day no matter the weather: heat, cold, rain, or snow. Teach the kids math, science, English language arts, etc. but also teach them adaptability, resilience and compassion. Take entire classrooms on overnight backpacking trips, travel overseas, and expose the students to experiences that are only available outside the physical walls of a school.
For the past decade, Taylor Simmers has served as the co-founder and co-director of TEA. “We have been on the crazy train for so long, but you have to be a bit crazy to change the world,” said Simmers. Creating a school that is so far outside the box and on the cutting edge of education reform has been a 24/7 endeavor for Simmers over the past ten years. Now it’s time for him to take a break.
Simmers plans to take the next year off and travel with his family. He also plans to take his 150-page manuscript and turn it into a book about Tahoe Expedition Academy. He wants to spread some of the “magic” of Tahoe Expedition Academy to other schools, teachers, administrators and nonprofits.
“It has always been a goal to take what we have learned and share it with other educators. We want all students to have the opportunity to engage in real world learning,” said Simmers.
Maher takes over as Head of School on July 6. He is excited about what Tahoe Expedition Academy can accomplish over the next ten years.