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Head of School Succession Planning

On September 24, 2018 Board Chair Tory Nosler and Head of School Janet Durgin announced that Janet will be retiring at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

Further developments and updates will be posted here.

List of 4 news stories.

  • Head of School Search Update, May 13, 2019

    Dear Sonoma Academy Community,

    We are delighted to share an update with you in regards to our Head of School Search. Last week, from Sunday through Wednesday, the HOS Search Committee met in San Francisco and Sonoma County to meet with an extremely exciting and qualified group of candidates (interviews were conducted individually, of course). The Search Committee was deeply impressed. The candidates were highly accomplished, engaging, warm, brilliant… in a word, they were great, and filled us with hope and vision for the next phase of Sonoma Academy’s development.

    The Search Committee is functioning on a high level with each other and has come to a unanimous decision on our semi-finalist candidates. These candidates will have longer, even more in-depth interviews the week of May 20 and we. We will send another update upon their completion.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


    Kitty Angell, Founding Trustee & Chair of the HOS Search Committee
    Read More
  • Head of School Search Position Statement

    Thank you to everyone who completed our Head of Search position survey. Our consultant firm, Spencer Stuart, has now created a Head of School Position Statement that reflects all of the input from our staffulty, parents, alumni parents, alumni, and trustees and is available here. The firm is is now in the quiet phase of our search. We will be receiving a progress report March 15 and will report back at that time. We should begin seeing candidates in late April.

    Read More
  • Head of School Search Committee Engages Spencer Stuart Consulting Firm

    The Head Search Committee is pleased to announce that we have retained Spencer Stuart as a partner in our search. Spencer Stuart is a leading global executive search firm with extensive experience and a dedicated sub-practice in the independent school sector. Mary Gorman and Kristine Johnson, both Partners at the firm, will lead the Spencer Stuart team.  

    This team brings significant and relevant experience working with top independent schools, liberal arts colleges, and research universities, often partnering together to support head of school and other senior leadership transitions. Most recently, they completed the Punahou School presidential search, as well as finding new heads of school for St.Paul’s, Phillips Academy Andover, Middlesex School, and Groton. We could not be more pleased and are confident they will help us find the next, best head of school for Sonoma Academy.

    A key element of their process will be to gather input from our community. We will be sending out a survey via email to gather input. Additionally, both Mary and Kristine will be on campus January 23-24 to meet with various members of the community—including parents and alumni parents, alumni, trustees, staffulty, and students. We will provide more detailed information about how to provide input at a later date.
    Read More
  • Head of School Search Committee Named

    Our goal with creating this committee is to have a small, but representative, group of people who will navigate the majority of the details regarding our search for a new Head of School. There will be opportunities throughout the search for the entire community to provide input, but it is important that the committee remain small and nimble.

    Our  first task is to choose a consultant firm. The consultant will be doing a great deal of the legwork of the search as well as providing forums for wider community input. Once the consultants are selected, they will visit campus for several days. We will send another announcement once the firm has been chosen and their process has been fully articulated.

    The Search Committee consists of nine people, including one admin team member, Ellie Dwight, and two teachers, Jamie Murray and Ramsey Musallam. There are five current trustees, Kitty Angell, Bridget Twomey, Tim Duncan, David Eiseman, and me, as well as founding trustee  Lisa French.

    In addition to opportunities for input to the consultant group, anyone who wishes to speak privately with a member of the committee will be given ample opportunity.

    Of course, we will continue to communicate with you at each key step in this process. Please feel free to contact either of us with questions


    Kitty Angell, Chair of the Search Committee
    Tory Nosler, Chair of the Board of Trustees
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Head of School Search Committee

Kitty Angell, Search Committee Chair and Trustee
Tory Nosler, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Tim Duncan, Trustee
Ellie Dwight, Assistant Head of School
David Eiseman, Trustee
Lisa French, Founding Trustee
Jamie Murray, Humanities Teacher
Ramsey Musallam, STEM Teacher
Bridget Twomey, Trustee
2500 Farmers Lane
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Sonoma Academy is...

The only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On its beautiful 34-acre campus nestled at the base of picturesque Taylor Mountain in South Santa Rosa, Sonoma Academy students are able to explore their interests and passions in a challenging environment that prepares them for college and life beyond.