Experience

Meet the Staff

Douglas Bird '90, Ed.D. | Head of Schools

doug.bird@culver.org

Dr. Douglas Bird ’90 became Culver’s 14th head of schools on June 3, 2019 succeeding Dr. James Power.

Bird has served as the Culver Summer Schools & Camps director since 2017 where he oversaw the planning and operation of the Upper Schools, Woodcraft Camp and Junior Woodcraft Camp, including 1,400 campers and 450 staff members.

A 1994 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Bird served in the United States Marine Corps until 2001, attaining the rank of captain. He received his master’s degree in 2002, his specialist in education in 2010, and his doctorate in 2017 from Ball State University.

Prior to returning to Culver, Bird served as the principal of Center Grove High School in Greenwood, which enrolls approximately 2,500 students in grades 9-12. Prior to his four years at Center Grove, he served as the assistant principal of operations at Carmel High School. He taught algebra, geometry, and math at Carmel and Northview Middle School prior to becoming an administrator.

Bird and his wife, Cheryl Wilkins Bird '90, W'86 have strong Culver family ties with fathers, uncles, siblings, cousins, nephews and nieces having attended or attending Culver programs. They have three children: Jacob '20, W'16, Brighton '23, W'18, and Parker.

Andy Seddelmeyer | Deputy Head of Schools

josh.pretzer@culver.org

Culver Summer Schools & Camps’ Junior Woodcraft Camp in 2010 was Andy’s first Culver experience. He was then hired to be the Division Commander for Division 3 at Woodcraft where he spent a total of six summers. In 2017, Andy accepted a position as the Upper School Director. As a full-time employee, he was able to learn and live the Culver mission through his new position as well as committee assignments, Barracks Inspector, and interaction with both students and staff. 2019 brought another change as Andy was hired as the Director of Culver Summer Schools & Camps. Andy held this position until February of 2021 when he was elevated to Deputy Head of Schools.

Andy holds a Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University (1998) where he majored in Elementary Education. He also earned a Master’s degree (2002) in Educational Administration and a Superintendent’s license from Ohio University. He spent five years as a 4th grade teacher and 14 years as an Elementary School principal before Culver. Andy and Julie (Vallery) WC ’89, US ’92 enjoy spending time with their four children: Drew ’21, Kamm '24, WC ’20, Reid '25, WC ’21, and Wade '25.

Josh Pretzer | Dean of Faculty

josh.pretzer@culver.org

Josh Pretzer is the Culver Academies’ dean of faculty. Since joining the Culver faculty as a faculty intern (fellow) in 1999, he has co-designed and taught courses in biology, chemistry, and leadership, including Culver’s unique 9th grade “Living, Learning, Leading,” 10th grade “Thinking and Teaming,” and 12th grade leadership capstone course. Pretzer assisted with cross country, track, and swimming during his first seventeen years at Culver and served as an assistant dean in academics and for the faculty from 2006 until his appointment to dean of faculty in 2016.

Pretzer completed a masters' degree in educational leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University as part of the 2006 Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership cohort. He was a 2013 Class of ’63 Exemplar, a 2008 Williamson Fellow, and held the Eppley Chair of Science. He is also honored to have received the Ralph N. Manuel Award from the student body in 2004 and General Delmar T. Spivey Award from the academic department chairs in 2003.

Outside of his responsibilities at Culver, Pretzer collaborated on a National Science Foundation grant project Active Chemistry, lead as a fellow and advisor for the Folio Collaborative, served on the Board of Directors for the Culver Boys and Girls Club, co-directed the Klingenstein Summer Institute for early career teachers, and is a founding faculty member for Klingenstein Center’s FORGE experience for academic leaders. He has presented at a number of national conferences and led workshops around the country on professional growth and development, each opportunity inspired by the work being done with various teams at Culver.

Pretzer spends all of his time outside work with his wife, Erin, and two children, Madeline and Finn.

Julie Bess '83 | Assistant to the Dean of Faculty

julie.bess@culver.org

Julie Bess joined the Culver Academies head of schools office in 2009. She now serves as the Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Faculty. Bess has a B.A. from Purdue University.

Amy Davis Johnson | Executive Assistant to the Head of Schools

amy.davis@culver.org

Amy Davis-Johnson joined the Head of Schools office as Executive Assistant in October 2021. Prior to this, she was Office Manager for Culver’s Alumni Office. Before that, Amy served eight years as an assistant in the Administrative Services department. Amy and her husband, Brad, currently reside in Winamac with their youngest son, Camden. Her oldest son, Quinn, graduated from CMA in 2017.