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EXCLUSIVE: Will & Jada New School Head’s Scientology Connection

Aug. 7 2009, Published 10:25 a.m. ET

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The new head of superstar Will Smith’s New Village Leadership Academy once studied Scientology, can reveal. On Wednesday we broke the story that Jada had fired the original hire after her position became “untenable” due to her disagreement with the Study Tech curriculum devised by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Click here for all the details behind the firing

Jada called Jacqueline Olivier to inform her of their decision and the couple filled the position at the private school in Calabasas, Calif., with Piano Foster who confirmed to that she began her duties on July 1. The school resumes in August. 

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“I’ve been working in education for the past 20 years at various public and charter schools so I feel I’m ready for the job.”

It seems one of Foster’s other possible qualifications stems from her knowledge of and participation in Scientology. Foster completed a Scientology Basic Study Manual course in 2005 and her name appears on an official Scientology list. contacted The California Department of Education with regard to the school’s current status. From the beginning, the school has denied any affiliation to any religion, calling the institution nondenominational.

Jada Pinkett Smith

“I can confirm that the New Village Academy is registered with us.” Information Officer with the (CDE)  Tina Jung said. “They signed an affidavit in line with our regulations which name’s Jaqueline Olivier as the Site Administrator. It is listed as a private business and as being ‘non-religious’ within the affidavit. New Village Leadership Academy is listed as a private business with the Secretary of State's Office.



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