Loren Thomas Named Executive Director

(January 23, 2013 Elmer, NJ) The Board of Trustees announced today that  Dr. Loren Thomas will be the new executive director of Appel Farm Arts & Music Center, effective April 1, 2013.

“We are absolutely delighted that Loren Thomas will be Appel Farm’s new executive director,” stated Board of Trustees president David Manders. “Dr. Thomas has served in public education in New Jersey for the past 26 years as teacher, principal and superintendent. He has an incredible track record of success, and his engagement as an Appel Farm Board member is impressive. Dr. Thomas’ extensive background in education, coupled with his financial acumen in managing budgets, make him an ideal fit for Appel Farm. We are confident that his leadership will help us navigate through these tough economic times as we continue to serve the southern New Jersey region.”

Dr. Thomas is currently Superintendent of Schools for Salem County Special Services & Vocational Technical School Districts and a member of Appel Farm’s Board of Trustees. During his tenure as the principal at Arthur P. Schalick High School (2000-03) he began a relationship with Appel Farm that gave high school students the opportunity to partake in arts and community activities, allowing them to deepen their artistic experiences. In 2010 he joined the Appel Farm Board of Trustees and envisioned a partnership with the Salem County Arts Academy and Appel Farm that engages professional teaching and guest artists. The opportunity to work with professional artists and educators offers enhanced learning opportunities for arts career-track high school students, and the program has increased its enrollment every year since the Academy-Appel Farm partnership began.

“I am extremely excited to be taking on a new role at Appel Farm,” stated Dr. Thomas. “I have been involved with the organization for many years, and deeply respect the work it does throughout our region. I feel confident that my background as an educator will be important to furthering Appel Farm’s mission of making the arts accessible to people of all ages and economic backgrounds.”

Dr. Thomas holds advanced degrees in Education and Administration, along with Classics, Philosophy and Religion. He is fluent in Spanish and English, and was director of the Monteverde Friends School in Costa Rica in 2006-07. His teaching career began in 1978, and he has held positions ranging from Instructor, to Principal to Superintendent throughout the southern New Jersey region. In addition to his position within the Salem County school district, he is also an adjunct faculty member of Rowan University where he teaches Educational Administration. Former posts at Stockton State College included instruction in Greek Philosophy, World Religion, Philosophy and Classical Thought. He has authored several articles for magazines, newspapers and journals.

About Appel Farm
Appel Farm Arts and Music Center, 457 Shirley Road, Elmer, NJ 08318.
Appel Farm Arts & Music Center is a non-profit regional arts center serving audiences, artists, and students. Programs include an overnight summer arts camp, concerts, family matinees, a major outdoor music festival, and classes for children and adults, outreach in New Jersey public schools and a conference center. More information about Appel Farm can be found at www.appelfarm.org or by calling (856) 358-2472.
These programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding sources include corporations, foundations and individual contributions by friends, Trustees and alumni of Appel Farm.

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