Head of School Search

In June 2021, Marsha Nelson will retire after an 18-year career as Head of School. Marsha has shaped the school into the place we know it to be now: a place of rigor and community that educates students to become articulate, confident, and responsible citizens of the world.
Cathedral has engaged the services of Resource Group 175 (RG175), a leading independent school search firm, to facilitate this important leadership transition in partnership with the Search Committee and greater Cathedral community.

Read the Head of School Position Statement.

It is with gratitude to those on the Head of School Search Committee—and, indeed, to all who have made our school the place of rigorous academics and caring support that it is—that we announce that the Search Committee has invited four outstanding finalists to move forward with our process. 

There will be two open community meetings for each candidate. More details can be found in the letters to the Cathedral community on the right.

For questions about the search, please contact Katie Conway, Head of the Search Committee and Vice President of the Board of Trustees, or one of our RG175 consultants:
Jerrold I. Katz
Robert P. Henderson, Jr.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 10 items.

  • Will Cathedral School’s Mission or Philosophy change with a new Head of School?

    No. The School’s mission has been thoughtfully developed and evolved over time. An important factor in evaluating the next Head of School will be the degree to which candidates understand, support, and can enhance our mission.
  • Is there a search firm supporting the search process?

    The Search Committee has engaged the firm Resource Group 175 (RG175) to partner with us on our Head of School search. Jerrold I. Katz and Robert P. Henderson, Jr., both of whom are experienced former heads of school and recognized thought leaders regarding school leadership transitions, will facilitate and support our search process.
  • What is the timeline for the search?

    The current plan is to be able to announce the appointment of a new Head of School by early 2021. We are hoping to be able to have finalist candidates visit the Cathedral School in the fall, after which the committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, with whom the final decision and responsibility to appoint the next Head of School lies. They hope to announce the appointment of a new Head of School next winter. We are so grateful to have Marsha’s continued leadership through the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, after which her successor will assume responsibility.
  • What is the role of the Board of Trustees in the search?

    The Board is responsible for selecting the Head of School. This is one of the most important roles that the Board plays for Cathedral School. The detailed task of conducting the search will be undertaken by a Board designated Search Committee. 
  • Who is the Search Committee?

    Search Committee members share a deep appreciation for Cathedral School’s mission. They include individuals who offer a diverse set of experiences and points of view as well as a strong degree of commitment to and involvement in the school community. Members of the Search Committee are:
    • Katie Conway (Trustee Vice President), Chair
    • Bill Bermont (Trustee President, ex officio)
    • Dean Daniel (Trustee, ex officio)
    • Satrina Boyce (Trustee, Parent)
    • Joseph Ciancaglini (Trustee)
    • Kirstin Kearns Jordan (Former Board President/Parent)
    • Laura Higgins (Head of Lower School)
    • Delilah Lora (Upper School Faculty, 7th Grade Dean)
    • Janet Barzilay (Director of Outreach and Enrollment Management)
    • Committee Support: Devoynne Prophet (Executive Assistant to Head of School)
  • What is the role of the Search Committee?

    The Search Committee is charged with engaging and learning from all constituents to define the qualities required of the next Head of School. The Search Committee will review candidate files, interview the most viable candidates, and, after carefully considering input from multiple constituents, recommend one candidate for appointment by the Board of Trustees.
  • Will the Head of School search impact student experience?

    No. Marsha Nelson will remain Head of School until June 30, 2021. The Head of School search will have little or no visibility with students. 
  • Will the search impact the faculty's time in the classrooms or the administration's time and availability?

    No. While the faculty and administration’s input will be sought throughout the search process, it will not intrude on classroom time or ongoing school operations.  
  • How will the Search Committee keep the community updated?

    There will be periodic communication from the Search Committee throughout the process. It is important to note that most of the search process must be confidential, and that will shape the communication. 
  • How can I help during the search?

    Broad community input will be critical to effectively defining the leadership, professional and personal qualities required in the new Head of School. Selected school and community leaders will be interviewed by our consultants, and all faculty and community members will have an opportunity to complete an online survey. Here are some further ways in which you can help:
    • Please make our search consultants aware of any individuals whom you would recommend as potentially strong candidates.
    • Please carefully read future communications from the Search Committee.
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