Lowder named executive director of North Hills Christian School

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 20, 2013

Maria Lowder, an accountant and former Food Lion executive, will become executive director of North Hills Christian School on Jan. 1.
Her hiring comes after a year long process of determining the appropriate leadership model for the school and ensuring the model would advance the school’s mission and vision, a news release said.
Lowder will report directly to the schools board of directors and will be responsible for ensuring the fulfillment of the school’s mission: “Equipping Hearts and Minds of Students to Impact the World for Christ.”
“I’m honored and humbled to be leading North Hills Christian School, Lowder told school staff when her hiring was announced. I see great potential in growing this institution that prepares students both academically and spiritually and helps them establish a firm foundation for life.  I am excited about the possibilities of our school and the lasting impact it has on children.”
Most recently, Lowder has run her own certified public accounting firm. Prior to that, she worked for Food Lion and its parent company Delhaize America. Her titles included vice president of financial planning and investment analysis, vice president of associate services, corporate auditor and corporate finance manager.
Some of her job responsibilities at Food Lion included budgeting, forecasting, financial planning and overseeing compensation and benefit plans for more than 74,000 employees.
Lowders community involvement includes serving as a board member and vice president of the Lions Pride Foundation and a board member for North Hills Christian School, where she led a capital campaign. She is currently vice chairwoman of the board at Rowan Helping Ministries.
North Hills board Chairman Kyle Mitchell said Lowders role as executive director will be different than that of the previous head of school.
“With the previous head of school’s departure, the board took the opportunity to evaluate a number of options, Mitchell said in the news release. We did not want to automatically assume we had to do things like we always had. We wanted to know what other successful Christian schools were doing. We wanted to know what career tracks were offered by our accrediting association. We evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of our organization and took a look at the skills already in place with our current staff.
Mitchell said with strong academic leadership in place, the board decided it could expand our options to include candidates whose strengths complemented areas where we were traditionally not as strong.
Lowder was already actively involved with the management of the school and familiar with its culture, he said, and she was enthusiastic about our mission and vision. As a Christian, she saw the value of a Christian education and had the desire to lead the organization.
The board named Leslie Pullen dean of academics. She will report to Lowder.
North Hills, at 2970 W. Innes St., has nearly 300 students and just completed a capital campaign to expand and upgrade its facilities. School leaders plan to break ground by the end of the school year.