Meet the Staff
Douglas Bird '90, Ed.D. | Head of Schools
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.
Holly Johnson | Chief Advancement Officer
Holly Johnson is the Culver Academies’ chief advancement officer. Johnson came to Culver from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) where she served as the vice president of development from 2013-2016. As a member of the senior management team, she was responsible for the ISO’s overall fundraising initiatives, which included campaigns to increase annual fund giving, major gifts, corporate and foundation sponsorships, planned giving, and special events revenue.
From 2010-2013, Johnson served as the Indiana University Foundation’s director of women’s philanthropy. She managed all aspects of the program, including the establishment of the Women’s Philanthropy Council (WPC) in partnership with IU first lady, Laurie Burns McRobbie. Prior to her promotion to director of women’s philanthropy, Johnson served as IU Foundation’s director of development, major gifts from 2008-2010.
Johnson began her fundraising career at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1999. She served as the ISO’s corporate donor relations associate from 1999-2002 and associate director of corporate giving from 2002-2006. Upon promotion to director, she led corporate and foundation giving from 2006-2008. In 2003, Johnson conceived and established the ISO’s FORTE young professional association – an active, dynamic group dedicated to mentoring future community leaders and supporting the orchestra.
Johnson is a 1999 graduate of the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs where she serves as an adjunct instructor and guest lecturer. In 2015, the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs invited her to join its Distinguished Alumni Council. Other honors include a 2011 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Circle of Excellence Silver Award, which honors programs that epitomize the profession’s best practices, raise standards, and contribute to a growing body of knowledge about advancement. Johnson also earned a Certificate in Fund Raising Management from the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Johnson is married to Scott Johnson '94, W'89, who graduated from CMA with honors in Russian. They two children, Ava '21, W'17 and Finnley.
Josh Pretzer | Dean of Faculty
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.
Lisa Barenie | Assistant to the Chief Advancement Officer
Lisa Barenie joined the Culver Academies Head of Schools office in 2011. She has been with the Academy since 1994. Prior to this position, Barenie worked in the Accounting Department from 1994-1998 and was a member of the Huffington Library Staff from 1998-2011. Barenie now serves as the Administrative Assistant to the Chief Advancement Officer. She and her husband Jeff have lived in the Culver area since 1979.
Julie Bess '83 | Assistant to the Dean of Faculty
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.
Gerri Quivey | Assistant to the Head of Schools
Gerri Quivey joined the Culver Academies Head of Schools office in 2006. She now serves as the Administrative Assistant to the Head of Schools. Her responsibilities include assisting the Head of Schools in his daily duties. Quivey is married and has two children.