New Life Academy Names Dr. Dwight Carlblom as Interim Head of Academics  

NLA Community:

Over the last several weeks, the New Life Academy Governing Council has been engaged in dialogue and planning as we determine the next steps for the leadership of New Life Academy in the absence of Karl Steinkamp. We continue to believe that an experienced academic leader is essential to New Life’s daily operation and continued success. We are excited to announce that Dr. Dwight Carlblom will join us as the Interim Head of Academics for the remainder of the 2023-2024 school year. Dr. Carlblom will be reporting to the Governing Council and joining New Life Academy starting on November 6, 2023, with the main responsibilities of:

  • Providing guidance, mentorship, and leadership to our Early Ed, Lower, and Upper School Principals
  • Overseeing the current initiatives that were started by Mr. Steinkamp, including Trust Based Observations and Teaching for Transformation
  • Owning and overseeing the ACSI areas for growth
  • Working with the Governing Council and being in regular contact with the Parent School Partnership to be a known presence and foster trust and goodwill within the community

Tyler Schelhaas, Governing Council Chairman

God has truly been holding NLA in the palm of his hand as we have traveled down the path of determining interim leadership. Dr. Carlblom is a leader with a proven track record of success, and he is missionally aligned with New Life and comes to us with a wealth of experience. In addition, he is eager and able to join us in the middle of the school year, and we hold all of these factors as answers to our prayers.

It is also important to communicate that Dr. Carlblom’s role, responsibility, and title were not determined on our own. The Governing Council hosted a listening session with all teachers, faculty, and staff. We also consulted with the ACSI team on campus last week for our required accreditation. Based on the information and feedback we received, we feel Dr. Carlblom’s role will fulfill the immediate needs of teachers, faculty, staff, and families to allow New Life Academy to continue forward with a great ’23-’24 school year while setting us up for an even brighter future. Dr. Carlblom is very excited to be a part of New Life Academy, and he wrote a letter to the NLA community introducing himself. As you will see below, he highlights his connection to New Life Academy and his extensive experience.

With Dr. Carlblom on board, the Governing Council can confidently shift our primary focus to the 2024-2025 school year and beyond. We will continue to meet, research, discuss, and prayerfully determine the right person to lead New Life Academy as it moves forward. We will be sending out a survey in the coming months to ask for family input as well. We have identified and engaged a search firm to fulfill this leadership role permanently, and we will begin meeting with them in the next few days. Please continue to pray for guidance and wisdom as we walk down this path and for harmony and unity for the entire New Life community. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thank you,

Tyler Schelhaas, Governing Council Chairman

Letter from Dr. Dwight Carlblom

It is my privilege to greet you, the New Life Academy family, and introduce myself as I join you for the remainder of this 2023-2024 school year. My name is Dr. Dwight Carlblom, and education has been my career. I’ve served as a high school Social Studies and Bible teacher, a school chaplain, a principal, a professor, and later as Vice President of Student Development at Crown College (Minnesota). I also spent seventeen years as the Head of School in various locations, including Minnesota, Malaysia, South Korea, and North Carolina. In fact, it was while in Malaysia that I met Karl and Jacki Steinkamp. Karl was one of my students during his senior year of high school; he came back to do his student teaching with me. I was blessed to work alongside him as a peer teacher, and a few years later, I hired him as my secondary principal when I became the Head of School. Karl has been a dear friend of mine for thirty-three years, and I look forward to that day when I can sit down with him and enjoy Heaven’s version of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup!

In my 45 years in education, God has led my wife, Lori, and me to unique, beautiful, and challenging locations. I served as the Head of School at Dalat International School (Malaysia) during its transition from a denominational school for missionary children to a private international school. In Suwon, South Korea, I was the Head of School when the school was involved in seven court cases (none of my making!) that spanned eight years. Later, I moved to North Carolina to become the Head of School at The Epiphany School of Global Studies, following three Heads of School in two years.

As you can see, academics have been central to my career, and I’ve thrived in both teaching and administration roles. While an administrator, I always maintained at least one teaching class. As a teacher, I chaired the accreditation process at Dalat (ACSI and WASC). As an administrator, I successfully guided my schools through five accreditation visits (ACSI, SAIS, and WASC). I also served on accreditation teams evaluating eight schools in five countries (ACSI and WASC). I feel blessed to have worked with academically excellent schools that offer incredible experiences for their students. Based on what I’ve observed and learned, New Life Academy aligns with that same description. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join the incredible students, faculty, and staff of NLA for the upcoming seven months!

Dwight Carlblom, Interim Head of Academics