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Head of School Welcome

The McGillis School’s mission and values inform everything we do as a community to nurture in our students a love of learning, committed and able to repair the world.

Our mission is to educate children and instill in our students a love of learning and the abilities to think critically, live ethically, and appreciate the value of each individual.

Founded 30 years ago, McGillis is rooted in Jewish values which guide the way we live and learn in our school community.  In 2017, my family and I moved to Salt Lake City to join the McGillis community.  From my first moment entering the building, I experienced a strong community and one with a profound culture of respect -- respect for oneself and one another; respect for learning and ideas; respect for nature and humanity.


Fast forward, four years later, we find ourselves dealing with a global pandemic that is impacting each one of us in a variety of ways. And its impacting our children -- an impact that will have both near term and long term effects. During a time of crisis, our values serve as our North Star guiding our community to rise to the challenge of establishing a new normal, a willingness to adapt to change, and a commitment to do our part to support what is best for the collective whole.


And while none of us have all of the answers, Derech Eretz will guide our actions and interactions. As a community and as a society, there is a responsibility and commitment to each other to do what is best for our collective whole -- and to do what is best for our children.


It’s our fundamental values, our community, and the progressive education that our teachers so enthusiastically impart in our students which inspire and motivate our young people to become  ethical innovators, lifelong learners, and critical thinkers.   


If you’re not already a member of our community, I invite you to visit to understand more about why McGillis is different. We look forward to welcoming you.


In partnership,

Jim Brewer
Head of School 

Years later, I still feel welcomed when I return to the light-filled hallways at McGillis or when I bump into a teacher at the Art Fair. McGillis is truly a community of teachers and classmates that taught me the value of surrounding yourself with others who will pick you up and brush you off no matter who you are or where you come from. In turn, I have learned to be resilient, pick myself up, and do the same for others.

Samantha Carlisle, Class of 2015