Mr. Baer Named Upper School Division Director


Eliza Lampert

As of January 19, Nick Baer ’96 is Latin School’s permanent Upper School Director.

After serving close to a year in the role, Interim Upper School Director Nick Baer has been selected as Latin’s permanent Upper School Director.

On January 19, the Latin community was notified by Head of School Thomas Hagerman that Mr. Baer had been offered the position following an extensive search and had accepted the permanent job. Mr. Baer replaces Kristine Von Ogden, who departed Latin last winter.

Mr. Baer may have been operating from a strong position in the division director search as the well regarded incumbent, but Dr. Hagerman made it clear in his announcement that the school conducted a wide search that included more than 80 applicants, an extensive interview process, and two finalist candidates spending time on campus to meet the broader community.

Dr. Hagerman added in his letter to the community: “Nick brings a vast amount of leadership and instructional experience to the position that will continue to benefit our community. During his 20-year career at Latin, Nick has taught in both the Performing Arts and English departments, and has served as the Performing Arts Department Chair, a grade level Dean of Students, the 11th and 12th grade Dean of Students, and, most recently, the interim Upper School Division Director. He has nurtured the lives of our Upper School students by directing over 30 plays and musicals, coaching JV baseball, and developing a thriving and beloved improv program. He has been a member of the school’s faculty council and participated on multiple board committees and strategic task forces. He is also a Latin alum (a lifer!), and the parent of a middle schooler, an upper schooler, and a recent graduate.”

While stepping into the interim position in the middle of the academic year posed unique challenges, this year Mr. Baer was able to get a feel for what the Upper School Director position is like from the start of the school year. The more expansive perspective showed him how much he enjoys this more managerial, administrative role.

“I think once I started this new year fresh and got a chance to really dig into things with the Upper School team, it felt like we were really starting to move the needle on making this a fun, challenging and inspiring place to be,” he said. “That sold me!”

After several interviews as part of the search process, Mr. Baer was able to reinforce what students have long known. “Knowing him personally through class, he is super kind and personable, which I think are essential traits in fulfilling such a pertinent position in a school,” senior Cole Silverman said.

Even though Mr. Baer has already served the position on an interim basis, he was still excited to receive the full time role. “I was beyond thrilled,” he said.

Now that his position is permanent, Mr. Baer can focus on long-term goals for the school. “My focus is still on building community and belonging in the Upper School, but I do have a bunch of ideas related to other areas including academics, co-curriculars, and the like,” he said. “No spoilers yet, though!”

Cole is confident that Mr. Baer can do just that. “The school just needs someone to lead them so that Latin can be an enjoyable place for everybody in the community,” he said. “Mr. Baer is perfect for this because he is an alum who knows what Latin can be and understands the community better than anyone else.”

Mr. Baer’s experience with Latin is as varied as it has been long. Junior Ben Wilhelm said, “Mr. Baer has had a lot of experience at many different positions throughout his time at Latin, giving him a very comprehensive understanding of the ins and outs of the school.”

After attending Latin as a student (he graduated in 1996), Mr. Baer served as an English teacher, improv teacher, coach, dean, and interim division director. He has worn so many hats that it’s easy to be confused about his current role. “I just want the students to be clear,” he said. “I’m the Upper School Division Director, which is like saying I’m the principal, and I am not a Dean or Head of School. I am still an improv teacher, though, and a JV baseball honorary captain.”

Mr. Baer has long been held in high regard by students and faculty alike, which will position him well as he continues to lead the Upper School. Cole said, “With him in charge now, the school can find more stability and become more unified.”

Ben agreed, noting, “He is an amazing fit for the Upper School director.”