BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICH., July 30, 2020 – The Board of Trustees of Cranbrook Educational Community announced today that current Director of Cranbrook Schools, Aimeclaire Roche, will assume the role of President of Cranbrook Educational Community on July 1, 2021. Roche will succeed Dominic DiMarco, who has served as President of Cranbrook Educational Community since 2012. She will be the ninth President of the institution.
DiMarco announced his retirement last year, however, has agreed to stay on through June 30, 2021, to assist Roche with the transition.
“The COVID-19 pandemic brought many unexpected challenges to our campus, and it also revealed the exceptional leadership skills of our staff, particularly Aimeclaire Roche,” said DiMarco. “Aimeclaire showed incredible pragmatism while transitioning to an online curriculum and was able to bring out the best in her staff to quickly adapt to our changing needs. As we move into an uncertain climate over the next several years, it became clear that Aimeclaire will be able to use her knowledge of Cranbrook and her decades of experience as a leader to protect all of our programs and help them grow. She will be an exceptional President of Cranbrook Educational Community.”
Roche began her position as Director of Cranbrook Schools in August of 2018, in conjunction with the beginning of the 2018–19 academic year. She came to Cranbrook from The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, California, where she served as the Head of the school. She also served as President of the Board of Directors at the California Association of Independent Schools and as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for School Year Abroad.
Prior to her appointment as Head of The Bishop’s School in 2009, Roche was Assistant Head of Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts, from 2004 to 2009. She worked at St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware, from 1994 to 2004 where she served as Director of College Counseling and the Department Head for Classical Languages. She has taught at both Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, and The Williams School in New London, Connecticut. She is also an active member of The Headmaster’s Association, the oldest heads-of-school organization in the country, having been elected in 2013.
Roche says, “I am honored and humbled to take on the new role of President, continuing to lend my hand to the work of Cranbrook, an institution that values the inherently collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of all inquiry and all creative processes.”
She is currently a Field Instructor for master’s degree candidates in the Leadership Academy program at Columbia University’s Klingenstein Center and has served on the faculty of the New England New Teacher Seminar. She has presented nationally on a variety of topics, speaking at both the National Association of Episcopal Schools and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She holds an M.A. from Columbia University, an A.B. from Harvard University, and has done advanced coursework through the National Endowment for the Humanities and at the University of Georgia and The American Academy in Rome. She is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy.
In her new role as President of Cranbrook Educational Community, Roche will oversee Cranbrook Schools, a preeminent college preparatory K-12 educational system, as well as Cranbrook Academy of Art, a studio-based MFA and M.Arch degree-granting institution. She will also oversee Cranbrook Art Museum, Cranbrook Institute of Science, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, and Cranbrook House & Gardens. “Aimeclaire has been a collaborative partner with the senior leadership team and will transition into this role well,” said DiMarco.
DiMarco will leave behind a rich legacy. He joined Cranbrook Educational Community in 2008 as Chief Financial Officer before becoming the community’s eighth president in 2012. During his tenure, DiMarco:
- Established the strategic themes that continue to guide Cranbrook
- Oversaw the appointment of nearly all current senior staff members
- Fostered relationships with key constituents across the community
- Established the Center for Collections and Research with Ginny Fox
- Oversaw the completion of the renovation of Cranbrook Art Museum, which includes a 44,000-square-foot addition
- Oversaw the construction of a new Girls Middle School
- Initiated numerous campus-wide projects to improve all campus spaces, including community areas and athletic facilities
- Improved Cranbrook’s financial structure by reducing its debt and draw rate from the endowment and secured multiple major gifts
“As we began the search for a new President of Cranbrook Educational Community, our Search Committee worked diligently to find someone who could lead Cranbrook with the same drive and passion as Dom,” said Mark Reuss, Chair of the Cranbrook Educational Community Board of Trustees. “They identified several outstanding candidates, but we now realize that Aimeclaire had the voice and vision that Cranbrook needs at this time. In a short amount of time, she has earned the trust and support of the entire Cranbrook Schools staff, and we look forward to her using her exceptional leadership skills to unify the rest of the community. We are incredibly lucky to have a leader like this on our team who is poised and ready to build upon Cranbrook's legacy.”
A search for a new Director of Cranbrook Schools will begin immediately.