Lake Tahoe School was originally founded under the name Incline Academy in 1997 as a Pre-Kindergarten through First Grade private school whose mission was to provide a carefully articulated, highly academic program. Over the five-year period from September 1997 through June 2001, the Incline Academy, adding grades yearly, evolved into a Pre-K through Eighth Grade school housed in Incline Village’s Foursquare Church.
The school’s founders, Ms. Jean McFadden and Ms. Laurie Krueger, focused their attentions on faculty and student recruitment, curriculum development, and fundraising. Co-founder Laurie Krueger remains with the school in her administrative post as Director of the Pre-K Program to this day.
There were two milestones in our evolution that created the foundation for the school we are today. First, Incline Academy became Lake Tahoe School in 2002. Second, a visionary board of trustees, guided by Dave Duffield, acquired a new three-story building with room for 24 classrooms and appreciable office space in 2003. That same year Mr. Eric Swain, an experienced Head of School in both East and West Coast institutions, was hired as Lake Tahoe School’s new Head. In the spring of 2004 Dr. Arnold Lipkind, an educator with some 35 years experience became the principal. During this period the school continued to grow, develop curriculum and enrichment programs (e.g., its much-lauded outdoor education program), and attract exceptional faculty and staff.
Mr. Swain’s intention was to serve the school three years. In his third, the 2005-2006 academic year, following a national search, his successor, Mr. Stephen McKibben, joined the school as Associate Head of School and de-facto Principal. Mr. McKibben, an Ed.D. candidate at Columbia University, came to Lake Tahoe School after two decades of teaching and administrative experience in Northeast boarding schools. That year provided a rare collaborative opportunity as outgoing Head of School gradually passed the mantel to incoming Head of School. Mr. Swain, at the conclusion of that school year, was appointed to the Board of Trustees.
In the spring of 2011 Mrs. Ruth Huyler Glass was appointed the new Head of School. Mrs. Glass’s career as an educator and leader in independent schools provides a wealth of experience and expertise essential to running a great school: faculty recruitment, management and development; curriculum design and implementation; budgeting; admissions; and fundraising. Her four decades of educational experience proves her ability to lead Lake Tahoe School and continue the traditions set by our founders.
Lake Tahoe School is currently accredited by three organizations – The Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS), based in Seattle Washington, which is the chief accrediting organization for private schools in the northwestern United States and a regional affiliate of the National Association of Independent Schools, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), based in New York; and the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), headquartered in Boise, Idaho.
Lake Tahoe School continues to evolve: we completed a purchase and sale agreement for our building and two contiguous parcels in June, 2008; student enrollment continues to increase; the Board recently endorsed a five-year strategic plan; and we are successfully meeting our fundraising goals.
Our future is bright, and co-founder Laurie Krueger’s vision of creating an educational community focused on honoring the individual creativity and passion inherent in every child continues to nurture Lake Tahoe School students with disciplined minds, strong character, healthy bodies, and creative spirits.