Meet Our Executive Director, Mr. Joe Herzog

Meet Our Executive Director, Mr. Joe Herzog

Curious, motivated, disciplined, thoughtful and supportive aren’t only qualities that we teach our students at Ivy Academia, they’re also how we would describe our Executive Director, Joe Herzog.

Mr. H, as students call him, is passionate about giving every child a high-quality, personalized education at our free TK-8 public school. We asked Mr. H a few questions to learn more about our charismatic leader and lucky for you, you don’t even have to run a hundred miles alongside this long distance runner to find out what inspires him. Unless you want to…

Please tell us about your background and how you came to be at Ivy Academia.

From a young age, I have always been passionate about education and the transformative power it holds. I firmly believe that knowledge is the key to unlocking one's full potential and creating positive change in the world. 


After thorough research and consideration, I came across Ivy Academia, an organization with a fresh interest in focusing on business skills for kids along with academic excellence, a nurturing environment, and an innovative approach to education. The school's mission to empower students with a comprehensive education that fosters critical thinking, creativity, and social responsibility deeply resonated with me.

What do you love about Ivy Academia?

What sets Ivy Academia apart from other schools and what I love about it is its commitment to providing a well-rounded education that goes beyond academic excellence. Ivy Academia places a strong emphasis on character development, business skills, leadership skills, technology, and global awareness. 


The tuition-free school's holistic and forward-thinking approach to education nurtures students' personal growth, fostering their critical thinking abilities and social responsibility.  By encouraging innovation and adaptability, Ivy Academia equips students with the skills needed to succeed in their future endeavors.


Our Woodland Hills school also stands out for its supportive and inclusive community. The faculty and staff are dedicated professionals who create a nurturing and intellectually stimulating environment where students can thrive. The school's diverse student body promotes cultural understanding and fosters a sense of belonging.

What's the best part about your role as Executive Director?

The best part about my role as Ivy Academia's Executive Director is the opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of our students and the entire school community. I find great fulfillment in developing and implementing strategies that enhance the quality of education, promote innovation, and create a supportive learning environment. Witnessing the growth and success of our students as they flourish academically and personally is incredibly rewarding.

Please share some of your favorite events & activities at Ivy Academia. 

Our Transitional Kindergarten Program! The transitional kindergarten program at Ivy Academia is a source of joy and fulfillment. Watching young learners embark on their educational journey and witnessing their growth and development is incredibly rewarding.


I find great excitement in seeing students take the initiative and create their own businesses as part of the Ivy Community. It is inspiring to witness their entrepreneurial spirit and witness their creativity and innovation in action.


It is great to see kids involved in intramural activities as they provide opportunities for students to engage in friendly competition, teamwork, and physical fitness. It is heartening to see students come together, support one another, and enjoy the benefits of active participation.


I love watching students showcase their talents through various performances whether it's a musical, play, or art exhibition. Witnessing the creativity and hard work of students is truly remarkable.


Participating in staff professional development workshops is crucial for equipping teachers with the necessary tools and strategies for providing a world-class learning experience.

What does a day in your school life look like?

As the Executive Director of Ivy Academia, a typical day in my school life involves a diverse range of responsibilities and activities.


My day begins early, as I arrive at the school and start by checking emails and addressing urgent matters. I connect with staff members and greet students as they arrive or whenever I see them.


Throughout the day, I engage in various meetings and collaborations. This includes leadership team meetings to discuss ongoing projects and curriculum updates, meetings with the Board of Directors to review financial status and strategic initiatives, and meetings with the parents to address concerns and strengthen the home-school partnership.


I make it a point to visit classrooms, observe teachers and interact with students. I engage in one-on-one conversations with staff and students to better understand their needs and provide support. These personal interactions provide insights into the unique experiences, aspirations, and challenges of individuals within our community.


I also dedicate time to meet with staff regularly, focusing on social-emotional support programs for students. We review data and develop strategies to enhance student well-being, and to maximize student achievement.


Administrative tasks, such as reviewing reports, correspondence, and documents, are also part of my daily routine. I respond to emails, make necessary phone calls, and ensure timely follow-ups.


Maintaining a visible presence on campus is important, so I take walks around the campus, observing after-school activities, and engaging in brief conversations with students and parents.


At the end of the day, I reflect on the day's events, make notes of any action items, and take some personal time for relaxation.

What are you doing when you’re not at school?

I have a passion for ultra-distance running- pushing my physical and mental limits in endurance races. Whether it's tackling marathons, ultra-marathons like 100 continuous miles of running, or other challenging races, I find fulfillment in the discipline, determination, and sense of accomplishment that comes with long-distance running.


Family is important to me, and spending quality time with my three sons—Marcus, Rhett, and Drew—is a priority. Whether it's engaging in outdoor adventures, playing sports, or simply having heartfelt conversations, these moments create lasting memories and strengthen our bond as a family. I love to unwind and connect with my wife, Tammy, by binge-watching shows together. 


Another member of my family I love spending time with is my retired racing greyhound, Snooker. I cherish the moments of affection and gentle nature of my four-legged friend.


Join Mr. Herzog and our entire Ivy Academia Puma family and enroll today


About Ivy Academia

Ivy Academia is a tuition-free public charter elementary & middle school serving transitional kindergarten through eighth graders in Woodland Hills, California. At Ivy Academia, we empower our students to realize their fullest potential through meaningful and innovative educational opportunities. We use a cross-curricular approach, focusing on an entrepreneurial mindset. We believe in a high-quality, customized education, setting high expectations and offering robust academic support. Our small, TK-8 program partners with families and the surrounding community in preparing students to become dynamic leaders in the 21st century. Join our growing school, enroll today!