When Holly Novick first stepped onto The Country School campus in 2001 with her preschool son, Jackson, she knew she had found someplace different. “TCS became a second home for both of us,” Holly says. “Jackson went on to Mirman, Harvard-Westlake and NYU, where he recently finished a degree in biology. I stayed.”
Moving from classroom teacher to principal and then head of school, Holly embraced, refined and championed the vision of a school that honors the whole child, digs into emotional intelligence, thinks big with project-based learning, and steps boldly forward with a commitment to antibias, anti-racist programming.
“We pioneered the No Homework movement in Los Angeles in 2013,” she says, “and since then, we’ve become known for finding a healthy balance of education and scholarly rigor on one side with an intentional approach to self-care and downtime on the other.” Performance data has shown that students not only thrive at TCS but move on to secondary schools fully prepared, regularly placing into honors and AP classes.
Holly is deeply committed to racial justice and equity and to creating an environment where students see themselves not just in the community but in the lessons taught in the classrooms. She collaborates with the director of equity and the equity steering committee in an ongoing assessment of curriculum, professional development opportunities and parent education events—recognizing that these are integral parts of the school’s educational philosophy and community.
“Our students have opinions and questions,” Holly says, “and our teachers—across all divisions of TCS—are facilitating these conversations.”
Holly is proud that The Country School is an outside-the-box kind of place. “We make space for children to shape their own path while feeling valued,” she says, “with their entire school community cheering them on.”