Head of School
A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, Jim earned his master's degree in Anthropology at UC San Diego. Upon
completing his doctoral coursework, he received a Fulbright Grant for medical anthropology research on the island
of Yap, Federated States of Micronesia. To collect data for his study of medical utilization patterns, Jim spent two
years in a remote village interviewing indigenous healers and their patients. Returning to the U.S., he accepted an
administrative and teaching position in Crossroads School's International Program, leaving in 1999 to join the
faculty of New Roads School. As Academic Dean and K-12 Dean of Faculty at New Roads, he inspired students with
his democratic educational philosophy, unique teaching techniques, and innovative Great Ideas curriculum. Areté is
the embodiment of Jim's desire to help teens rediscover the joy of learning.
Assistant Head of School
Eli shares Jim's passion for rigorous, creative student-centered education. As Executive Director of the Areté
Scholarship Fund, she manages the non-profit entity and identifies candidates for Areté's scholarship program,
working to create a student body that mirrors the socioeconomic diversity of the community. Under her leadership,
the school is able to provide scholarships at an annual value of more than 30% of its operating budget. Born and
educated in Mexico City, Eli has taught and tutored Spanish for over a decade. She brings endless creativity and
contagious enthusiasm to her teaching passions, which also include Latin American history, Mexican cooking, Latin
dance, and fashion design.
Dean of Students
Clark Brandon's passion for the arts has involved him in television, film, and design for over thirty years. Born into a
New York theatrical family, it was natural for Clark to start his career as an actor, starring in several television series.
He went on to write and direct independent films, including the cult film "Skeeter" for New Line Cinema. His
visionary instincts led him to the Internet in the 90's where he designed and programmed innovative and dynamic
websites. In addition to his administrative role at Areté, Clark has taught New Media, Film and Society, and
Documentary Filmmaking and has helped to create the school's unique arts program.