Message from the President

Celebrating & Embracing Growth

On June 2, a sunny Friday morning in the North End, a new group of graduates entered their professional crafts and trades careers, filling the air with excitement and energy. From the pulpit of Old North Church, we listened to heartfelt speeches recognizing the graduates’ hard work and dedication, while stressing the need for community and connectivity. As graduates accepted their diplomas one by one—often with hugs and tears—the pride on the faces of every graduate and supporter was clear. Together, fellow graduates, friends, family, faculty, and staff shook the church with thunderous applause, ushering these 84 remarkable individuals into their next phase of their lives.

Commencement is a day of joyous celebration and of new beginnings, as our graduates embark on their hard-won career paths with newfound confidence and skills. They’re eager to make their marks on the world, helping to sustain communities and cultivate success.

Like our graduates, North Bennet Street School is embarking on a transformative journey. In an era marked by strength and resilience, and with a dedication to our mission and an unwavering commitment to excellence, we seek to strengthen and expand our core programs while extending our reach to connect with people near and far.

At NBSS, we recognize that growth comes from meaningful connections with communities and partners. Looking back at our collaborations over the past decade, we understand the complexity and challenges involved, yet these are rewarding endeavors. They include restoration projects with nonprofits like Memorial Hall, commissions with organizations like the Home Base Foundation, programs with schools such as Madison Park Vocational Technical High School or MassArt, and internships with cultural organizations like the Boston Athenaeum or Decorative Arts Trust. Expanding our reach means not only enhancing our projects, workshops, and programs, but also forging new alliances with diverse community partners, employers, and alumni. Our goal is to have a broad impact and make a difference for all.

Central to these efforts are our students, both present and prospective, whose experiences are vital to both the School’s and their individual success. We are committed to enhancing the student experience by providing increased support, from the moment of initial inquiry and application, through their education with our talented faculty, and beyond graduation into gainful employment. Through this work, we will empower our learners to unlock their full potential and become the skilled artisans and tradespeople of tomorrow.

Our achievements would be impossible without the dedication and expertise of our exceptional faculty and staff. They are the bedrock upon which NBSS’s reputation for excellence is built. As an institution, we are committed to advancing as an employer, investing in the individuals who enable our best work to happen. By fostering a supportive environment, we create a virtuous cycle where our talented team members thrive, enabling them to further elevate the quality of education and experiences we provide for students.

The challenges of recent times have proven our resilience and adaptability as a vibrant learning community. Those same challenges further embolden our optimism—and our uncompromising ambition—to continue to provide an exceptional learning environment.

Today, like our graduates, we stand at the start of a new era, filled with limitless potential for growth and impact. At NBSS, we believe that through our collective efforts, we can shape a future that transcends boundaries, propels our programs forward, nurtures the success of each individual who passes through our doors, and unlocks the boundless potential of our exceptional School. 

I invite you to join us in this effort so that together, we will create bold new opportunities for our community, and leave an indelible mark on our shared world.

Sarah Turner, President

About Sarah

As an educator, leading from both the office and the studio, Sarah has worked at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design, the State University of New York at New Paltz and the Oregon College of Art and Craft. As the Dean at Cranbrook, she directed the Academic Programs of the Academy, including a ‘public-lecture-as-variety-show’ series, and a Critical Studies + Humanities residential teaching fellowship, which she established in 2009. Sarah has also worked extensively in the areas of student success, from enrollment and admissions to developing opportunities for students and alumni. She has lectured widely, regularly serves as a guest critic to studio programs, and has organized exhibitions on contemporary craft and design in the US and abroad. In 2005, Sarah was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to the Netherlands to research Dutch contemporary applied art.

In addition to her work in education, Sarah has maintained a studio practice rooted in craft. Trained initially in metalsmithing and jewelry, her work has ranged from woodworking to weaving to printmaking—always with a focus on the meanings inherent to objects and materials. Her artwork has been included in exhibitions nationally and internationally, including the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Galerie Noel Guymarc’h in Montreal, and The Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston.

Sarah has been a volunteer and advisor for a variety of organizations, including the Southeast Michigan Fulbright Association, the Vermont YWCA, and the Society of North American Goldsmiths. She currently serves on the Boards of the Art Jewelry Forum and The Furniture Society.

Born and raised in Ohio, Sarah received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Smith College and a Certificate in Metalsmithing from the Oregon College of Art & Craft. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

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For interview requests, speaking engagements, or other inquiries, please contact Kevin Derrick at or 617-227-0155 x180.

Miguel Gómez Ibáñez CF ’99 retired as President in 2018, after 12 years of leadership. He leaves behind a tremendous record of physical and economic institutional growth for America’s first trade school. Among other notable accomplishments, Miguel implemented two strategic plans, secured and led the renovation of the School’s new 64,000 sf facility, established multiple strategic educational partnerships, and oversaw the School’s major $20 million Lives & Livelihoods Campaign, which will help to fund $1 million in student scholarships annually.

Born in New England and raised in Europe by parents who worked in higher education, Miguel long aspired to make a living with his hands. After earning a BA from Wesleyan University and a Masters in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, Miguel worked for 26 years designing civic and educational projects.

Throughout his time at NBSS, Miguel has maintained a furniture making workshop, which provides him not only personal fulfillment, but also a unique perspective on education. His work has been featured in House & Garden, American Craft, and other magazines, galleries, and museums across the country.

Full Resume — Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez