Head of School Search
Presidio Hill School is seeking a proven leader, a progressive educator, and a person of warmth, integrity, and joy. The next Head will be responsible for maintaining Presidio Hill’s strong sense of community while seizing new opportunities that will take the school into its next 100 years.
The School is guided by our mission—to challenge young people to imagine, inquire, and create, and become empowered learners who are responsible, committed to justice, and optimistic about the future. The next Head of School will be committed to leading the institution in alignment with these high standards.
In addition, the School requires an administrator who can effectively lead a complex enterprise, including a talented faculty and a deeply invested and supportive parent/guardian body. The school community will welcome an engaged and engaging leader who demonstrates respect for PHS traditions, a vision for the future and a genuine interest in the entire school family.
March 8, 2019
Dear Members of the PHS Community,
Greetings! On behalf of the Search Committee, we want to update you about the search process and affirm our commitment to making the process as inclusive and transparent as possible. Presidio Hill School’s strength lies in our strong community of parents, faculty, alumni and students, and we are all fortunate, with Lisa’s leadership as Interim Head of School, that our school is in a very positive place. We begin our search for a new head poised for the future, while clearly understanding what makes our school great.
The Search Committee
It is ultimately the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to hire a new head. To aid in this process, the Board has appointed a Search Committee. The committee includes representatives from the faculty and board, as well as current parents and parents of alumni. Faculty on the committee are Anahi Ruiz-Mitchell (Spanish teacher) and James Wygant (Interim middle school director). In addition to the two of us, trustees on the committee include Chung-Man Tam, Dallas Kashuba, Jeni Izuel and Sean Joyce. Non-trustee parents on the committee are Shawn Halbert and Linda Peters.
The board has engaged the highly respected firm of Carney, Sandoe & Associates (CSA) to assist us in identifying a new head. CSA consultants Bob Fricker and Jennifer Wong Christensen will be working with us on the search process. Bob is already familiar with PHS having worked with us on our last Head of School search.
Having completed more than 110 head searches, Bob Fricker is one of the most experienced consultants working with schools today. A former fourth grade teacher and head of a PK-8 school, Bob has had a particular interest in progressive schools. He has recently completed searches for Keys School, Alta Vista School, Marin Country Day School, and Children’s Day School with Jennifer Christensen. Since joining CS&A Jennifer has worked on a diverse range of searches across the country including Children’s Day, Mary Institute St. Louis Country Day, Lovett, Oxbow, Rowland Hall, and Woodside Priory. Prior to working at CS&A, Jennifer was the Director of College Counseling at Marin Academy and Sonoma Academy. Jennifer grew up in the East Bay and currently resides in Sonoma County.
The Search Process
As we shared at the last Community Conversation and in the February Letter from Lisa, the next step in the search process will be the consultants’ visit to PHS on Tuesday, March 26 and Wednesday, March 27. During these two days, Bob and Jennifer will meet with parents, faculty, administrators, staff, and students in order to learn more about our school and community and gain an understanding of the goals, expectations and challenges the next head of school will face. During those two days, you will have an opportunity to engage directly with the consultants during one of the parent sessions on Tuesday, March 26, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. or Wednesday, March 27 from 8:30-9:30 a.m.
After our consultants have compiled the feedback from our community, from these campus meetings, and from the results of the community survey conducted recently, we will create an opportunity statement to help us publicize the search and inform potential candidates about our school and its needs. Once the opportunity statement is completed, we will share it with the entire community. The search committee will then spend the spring and summer reviewing potential candidates, and will bring screened candidates to the school for interviews and meetings with the community in early fall 2019.
We will keep the community informed about the committee’s progress and the scheduling of events, bearing in mind that some aspects of the search must be kept confidential for the benefit of potential candidates. Also, note that we may need to be flexible with timing in order to attract and accommodate the best pool of candidates. More information, including an FAQ about the search and a "Head of School Search" section of the PHS website, will be available in the coming weeks. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at email@example.com. You may also contact our consultant, Bob Fricker, directly at (510) 508-6616.
Thank you for your participation in our search for a new head. Your input will be extremely valuable. We are all committed to finding an extraordinary leader who is aligned with our school’s mission and values, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts, insights and feedback to assist us through this process.
Christina Marchiel, co-chair, Board of Trustees
Matthew Nathan, co-chair, Board of Trustees
The Search Committee is co-chaired by Christina Marchiel, Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees and parent of Dylan (7th) and Dreas (5th), and Matthew Nathan, Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees and parent of Sasha (6th). The other committee members are:
- Chung-Man Tam, trustee and parent of Taiga (2nd) and Daichi (K)
- Sean Joyce, trustee and parent of Kingston (2nd)
- Dallas Kashuba, trustee and parent of Maddox (4th) and Lily (2nd)
- Jeni Izuel, trustee and parent of Brody (4th) and Mia (1st)
- Linda Peters, parent of David (5th) and Will (K)
- Shawn Halbert, parent of Lily (7th) and Maisey (2nd)
- Anahi Ruiz, Lower School Spanish Teacher
- James Wygant, Interim Middle School Director
Presidio Hill School has selected Carney, Sandoe & Associates to manage the search for our next Head of School.
Carney, Sandoe & Associates (CSA) is an educational recruiting and consulting firm founded in 1977 with the primary mission of helping K-12 non-profit, independent, charter and like-kind (non-public) schools worldwide recruit and hire highly qualified teachers and administrators. The firm specializes in retained executive search and management consulting for educational organizations. Carney Sandoe is nationally recognized for their work and PHS has used CSA for key searches in the past.
Our search consultants are:
In addition to his experience as a school administrator and school head, Bob has conducted searches for heads of school across the country as well as in California.
Jennifer Wong Christensen
Jennifer has extensive professional background in both independent schools and colleges.
Who will conduct the search for a new head?
The selection of the Head of School is the single most important duty of the Board of Trustees. As is customary in independent schools, the Board has created a Head of School Search Committee comprised of primarily trustees and including parents and faculty, to lead the search process to find an inspiring, extraordinary leader.
The Committee, led by Board Co-Chairs Christina Marchiel and Matthew Nathan, is working with Carney, Sandoe & Associates (https://www.carneysandoe.com), search consultants retained by the Board of Trustees to construct a process that results in an exceptionally strong appointment and engages the school community as much as possible without undermining the recruitment of excellent candidates. Carney, Sandoe & Associates is a search firm with extensive experience conducting worldwide, comprehensive searches for independent school heads.
How was the Board Search Committee formed?
Governance is a primary responsibility of the Board. As such, the committee is made up primarily of trustees.
The Search Committee is co-chaired by Christina Marchiel, Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees and parent of Dylan (8th) and Dreas (6th), and Matthew Nathan, Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees and parent of Sasha (7th). The other committee members are:
- Chung-Man Tam, trustee and parent of Taiga (3rd) and Daichi (1st)
- Sean Joyce, trustee and parent of Kingston (3rd)
- Dallas Kashuba, trustee and parent of Maddox (5th) and Lily (3rd)
- Jeni Izuel, trustee and parent of Brody (5th) and Mia (2nd)
- Linda Peters, parent of David (6th) and Will (1st)
- Shawn Halbert, parent of Lily (8th) and Maisey (3rd)
- Anahi Ruiz, Lower School Spanish Teacher
- James Wygant, Interim Middle School Director
How will the search process work?
Carney, Sandoe & Associates (CSA) is working with the Search Committee to understand the school’s culture and needs. In the beginning of 2019 we conducted our biennial school wide survey of all constituents including parents, teachers and administrators. In March, CSA representatives, Bob Fricker and Jennifer Christensen, visited our campus to meet with a broad array of community members. The process will remain quiet as CSA and the Search Committee vet potential candidates. In fall 2019, finalists will be brought to campus. Throughout this period and through the end of the 2019-2020 school year, Lisa Jeli will continue her daily activities as Interim Head of School.
Will the whole community be involved in the search process?
Yes. The whole PHS community, including faculty, staff, parents, alumni and trustees, will have the opportunity to participate in interviews and/or in a comprehensive online survey.
When will the new head of school be chosen?
Our goal is to hire a new Head of School in the fall of 2019 and have the new head assume responsibilities on July 1, 2020.
How can I stay informed about the search process?
Throughout the search process, the Search Committee will keep the entire PHS community informed with updates and information via email and on our website. Please understand that this process is not totally transparent because confidentiality must be maintained until the final candidates are invited to campus in fall 2019.
I would like to suggest a potential candidate or offer other input on the process. Who should I contact?
Please contact our search consultants at Carney, Sandoe & Associates:
Bob Fricker– firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Christensen – email@example.com
You can also communicate confidentially with the Board Search Committee Co-Chairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who do I contact if I have other questions?
Christina Marchiel and Matthew Nathan, the Search Committee Co-Chairs, have set up a confidential email account. You can email your questions to us at email@example.com