Beloved Director of Admissions, Judy Hirsch, will retire at the end of the 2021-22 academic year.

By Rose Helm
Today we share the news that our beloved Director of Admissions, Judy Hirsch, will be retiring at the end of the 2021-22 academic year.

Judy’s involvement with JTD first began in the early 1980s as a parent to Annie ’88 and Charlie ’91. Having been a teacher before her children were born, Judy has always possessed a deep love of learning and a commitment to serving others.
At JTD, she involved herself in the life of the school: serving on numerous committees and as a room parent, chairing The JTD Fair, and eventually holding the roles of President of the Parents’ Association and Member of the Board of Trustees. As Judy tells it, once Annie had gone off to college and Charlie had his drivers’ license, she felt the calling to return to the classroom. Former Head of School Ray Michaud offered her a permanent position on the faculty and a few years later appointed her as Director of Admissions, a role she has held since 1996.

Many prospective parents have anxiously walked into Judy's office, nervous to start the admissions process. As many of us know firsthand, there is no need to be nervous! Judy immediately puts those around her at ease thanks to her characteristic warmth and good nature. Those who know Judy will tell you how much pride she takes in her St. Louis roots, where she and her husband Jimmy met in the 7th grade. She embodies the midwestern values of humility, simplicity, and gratitude that we have come to associate with JTD’s founders Aunty Cathryn and Uncle John, and she brings those qualities to bear in every interaction she has. In fact, she is so adept at connecting with people that prospective families often leave the interview feeling like they just made a best friend.

Although Judy Hirsch is well known in the West LA community -- Jimmy, who has had a successful career in his own right, is proudly known around town as "Judy’s husband" -- she has always managed to stay grounded, prioritizing people’s character over what position they may hold or whom they may know. Her keen insights have helped shape the spirit of the JTD community for nearly three decades, identifying children and families who have helped our School advance its mission and uphold The 5C’s. During her tenure, Judy saw the School close its preschool and expand the network to nearly 70 sending schools. She also helped launch the bus transportation program, making JTD accessible to even more families in Los Angeles. Additionally, under her leadership, JTD strengthened its commitment to diversity, increasing students of color from 14% of the student body in 1996-97 to 43% of the student body for the 2021-22 school year. What is more, the number of students receiving Financial Assistance has more than doubled over the past decade. Judy’s impact here at The John Thomas Dye School has been profound, and her legacy will surely endure for future generations.

While Judy’s retirement represents a huge loss to our school community, we are grateful we have more than a year to enjoy her company, benefit from her leadership, and to wish her farewell. Additionally, the timing of Judy’s announcement enables us to conduct a comprehensive, national search for our next Director of Admissions. 

Please join us in congratulating Judy on her impending retirement and her many contributions to our community.

Start a discussion!

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  • Elizabeth Shoemaker
    I know that every JTD family that has passed through Judy's office has their own personal memory to share but the thing that I think is universal is the fact that we met some of the best friends of our lives during out time as students or parents at JTD and we wouldn't know those joyful, smart, funny, special and supportive people if Judy hadn't selected them to be part of the JTD community. Thank you Judy!
  • Kimberly Oden

The John Thomas Dye School

11414 Chalon Road
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Phone: (310) 476-2811
The John Thomas Dye School admits students of any race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs.

Located In Los Angeles, CA, John Thomas Dye is an independent school for grades K-6. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.