May 25, 2019
Sarah Turner Is New President of North Bennet Street School

Sarah Turner
November 22, 2018 — North Bennet Street School, a Boston nonprofit that trains students for careers in traditional trades, recently announced it selected Sarah Turner as president of the 137-year-old organization, which was America’s first trade school.

She will assume her new duties next month, succeeding Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez, the school’s first graduate to also lead the institution, who is retiring after leading North Bennet Street School (NBSS) for 12 years, the last nine as president.

Marc Margulies, NBSS board chair, said Turner, selected following a nationwide search, "has the training, experience, and passion necessary to lead the institution. We are thrilled to have her as our next president. She understands the context of teaching in a workshop, knows first-hand the details of running a postsecondary school, and appreciates the significance of a career in craft and the trades.”

Turner brings more than 20 years of experience in contemporary craft and design, as an educational leader, instructor, and artist at a number of celebrated institutions, including Cranbrook Academy of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Oregon College of Art and Craft, and the State University of New York at New Paltz.

At Cranbrook, Turner redesigned the academic programs and implemented an international teaching fellowship to bring art and design thinkers to studio practice. Turner also launched a new public lecture series, instituted regular symposia on changing topics, and developed new community and institutional partnerships.

“My heart lies in leadership work; helping studio-craft institutions draw together the contributions of all members to make something unique, useful, and forward-looking,” said Turner. “The strong sense of this, past and present, at North Bennet Street School drew me to the position. I am excited to get started on bringing about new connections and ideas.”

Turned earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Smith College, a Certificate in Metalsmithing from the Oregon College of Art & Craft, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

She has been a volunteer and advisor for a variety of organizations, including the Southeast Michigan Fulbright Association, the Vermont YWCA, the Art Jewelry Forum, and the Society of North American Goldsmiths.

Among other accomplishments, Gómez-Ibáñez secured and led the renovation of the School’s new 64,000 sf facility, established multiple strategic partnerships, and oversaw the School’s recent $20 million fundraising campaign, which will help to fund $1 million in student scholarships annually.

From its founding in 1881 as a settlement house offering vocational training, NBSS remains committed to teaching the whole person while fostering individual growth, attention to detail, and technical mastery. Students, ages 18 to 70, are high school graduates, veterans, white and blue collar professionals, single parents, from the LGBTQ community, international in origin, and others who vary in education, and ethnicity.

For the year ending July 31, 2016, NBSS reported $6.62 million in revenue, of which $1.85 million came from contributions and grants, and $6.63 million in expenses, according to its most recently available federal tax filing.

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