Letter from the Principal Learner

photo of Tony G

A Letter from the Principal Learner, Tony Gerlicz: 

That’s right, you saw correctly, the Principal Learner. In most places that means the Principal or Head of School and it means the same here with an important addition. There is no question in today’s world that people who learn continuously tend to stay healthier, tend to be happier, more innovative and tend to become more productive members of our society. And when we break down schools to their most fundamental purpose, it is about learning, all of us, all the time. I know Nelson Mandela would approve. He was a consummate student of laws, government, politics, nation building, human rights, and more, who injected a vibrant and humorous love of learning in almost all he did. Mandela’s is an inspirational story and it is an honor to lead a new school named after someone who exemplifies the power of education, the power of forgiveness and the power of conviction. He moved a nation and inspired a world.

The Mandela International Magnet School (MIMS) opened in the fall of 2014 with 50 students in each of grades 7 & 8, and has added one grade per year thereafter until the school reaches its complement of 300+ students in grades 7 – 12 in 2019.  MIMS is a candidate school in the International  Baccalaureate for its Middle Years Program (MYP) for grades 7-10, leading into the Diploma Program (DP) in grades 11-12 and was fully authorized as an IB World School in the spring of 2017.  Thus began our journey to provide a world-class IB education for the students of Santa Fe in a small school setting that pays as much attention to the social-emotional component of education as it does to the academic side of education.  We know that one enhances the other and in that way, MIMS educates the whole person for the whole world. We are off and running in an exciting, spirited, and healthy fashion.

I welcome you to help us open this new, vibrant Santa Fe public school of choice and to help us begin collecting our own inspirational stories as we are breaking new educational ground for the students of this wonderful city.


Tony signature
Tony Gerlicz 
Principal Learner