In 1998, Sheryl Chard moved across the country from Washington, D.C., to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to become Bosque School’s first head of middle school. Over the next twenty-two years, she shaped and influenced the Bosque School community in countless significant ways. While serving as the middle school leader from 1998 to 2013, Sheryl had the great joy of helping the middle school student body grow from 135 to 265 students.
Her hard work and dedication as the head of middle school was not overlooked. In the 2004–05 school year, Sheryl was awarded a yearlong Klingenstein Fellowship at Teachers College, Columbia University. After the fellowship was over, she brought her study of professional development back to Bosque School.
Sheryl designed and launched the Sofia Center for Professional Development in 2013. As of today, the center has worked with educators and school leaders from over 275 schools and organizations. Throughout the years, she has worked collaboratively with colleagues to create rituals and traditions that have become intrinsic parts of our community. These have included student programs like the annual 8th grade Writers’ Cafe that Sheryl started in 1998, the first end-of-year ceremony in Sanchez Park where graduation is now held, and the robust professional development program that shapes the staffulty culture at our school.
An inspiration to everyone at Bosque School, Sheryl is sharing her magic with the greater community and taking an exciting next step. As of August 15, Sheryl will become the part-time Director of Education and Programs at A Network for Grateful Living, a nonprofit organization she has been connected with for many years. There she will be developing curricula and programs that serve the organization’s international audience. Sheryl will also continue to lead the Sofia Center for Professional Development on a part-time basis as a stand-alone organization, forever connected to Bosque School through its origin, history, and a continued commitment to collaboration. Going forward, the professional development programs that the Sofia Center built into the structure of our school will be led by Bosque School staffulty, and the Sofia Center public programs will continue to live at the Sofia Center in its new configuration, with certain events still held on the Bosque School campus.
Sheryl shared, “Being part of the Bosque community for 22 years has been one of the great gifts of my life. My memories include everything from walking across the campus when we had just gotten the land and we were only dreaming of the buildings, to meeting President and Mrs. Ford, to candlelight ceremonies with so many 6th grade classes, to backpacking with 8th graders, to the first public Sofia Center event, to welcoming educators from across the community to our beautiful campus every month for seven and a half years, to being awed on a regular basis by my colleagues’ passion and commitment, to celebrating joys and grieving profound losses over the years with colleagues, friends. I’m deeply grateful that the largest part of my professional journey has been spent creating and learning with this extraordinary community. I’m thrilled about carrying the Sofia Center work forward into its next iteration while embracing the incredible opportunity to work with A Network for Grateful Living on behalf of their powerful mission. I do all of this with the hope of ongoing collaboration with the school and with a part of my heart forever tethered to the place I’ve called home for over two decades. Thank you, Bosque School—all who are part of the school today and all who were part of the journey along the way. I’m so grateful for all of you.”
On behalf of everyone in our Bosque School community, we would like to thank Sheryl for everything she has done for our school. We are excited for her to continue doing what she is passionate about at Sofia Center and A Network for Grateful Living. Sheryl is a bright light and will shine wherever she goes. We wish her all the best on her next adventure.