About

Head of School Transition

Head of School Transition

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 5 news stories.

  • Announcing Sonoma Academy's Next Head of School 2020-21

    The Sonoma Academy Board of Trustees is delighted to announce that Tucker Foehl will become our next Head of School, effective July 1, 2020.

    Tucker was selected from an international pool of diverse and talented candidates after a thorough year-long search process that engaged Sonoma Academy parents/guardians, students, alumni, staffulty, and trustees.

    At every step of the process we were inspired by Tucker’s commitment to independent school education, his demonstrated love of learning, his care for the student experience, his warmth, vision, and most importantly, his deep alignment with our mission and core values.

    Our school is at a unique point in its development. We are at full enrollment capacity—every year attracting far more qualified students than we can accept—and known to be a leader of innovative education and sustainable design, supported by a strong community of creative and engaged learners, committed parents, and inspiring teachers. The Board of Trustees feels that Tucker is uniquely suited to bring the level of energy, passion, and vision befitting our school at this point in our development. It was with this in mind that the Board unanimously voted to invite Tucker to become our next
    Head of School, and he enthusiastically accepted our invitation.

    Tucker will join us from Sacramento Country Day School (500 students), the leading pre-K-12 independent school in Sacramento, where he has been Assistant Head of School since 2014. There he has played an integral role in all aspects of school life: from hiring and mentoring new teachers and staff to implementing the school’s strategic plan. He has worked closely with the Sacramento Country Day Board of Trustees on various committees and initiatives, including the Development Committee, the Finance Committee, the Building & Grounds Committee (which completed a Middle School STEM Building, Music Lab, and a pre-K-12 Makerspace), and the Marketing Committee (which created a new website, viewbook, and ad campaign). Tucker also leads three school-wide committees: the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity Alliance, the Teaching & Learning Committee, and the Professional Growth Committee. In addition to this work and his supervisory responsibilities, Tucker teaches a junior and senior course in American Studies.

    Prior to Sacramento Country Day, Tucker was the Head of Academics at the Baltimore School for the Arts (400 students) from 2009-2014, one of the top five performing arts high schools in the country, where he led and evaluated the entire academic program, incorporating an interdisciplinary approach to what had been a fairly traditional curriculum. As part of this work, Tucker oversaw all course offerings, scheduling, and academic advising; hiring and mentoring of all faculty and staff; supporting the professional development program; overseeing college counseling; sitting on the Standards Committee, which evaluated all student progress and  discipline; and teaching an American Studies seminar. Before the Baltimore School for the Arts, Tucker taught American Studies and multiple history and literature seminars at the Calhoun School in New York City from 2006-2009, where he also coached basketball and advised the Model UN as well as student clubs focused on diversity and equity.

    Tucker has a BA in American Studies and African American Studies from Wesleyan University, and earned his MA and M.Phil as a Ph.D. student in Yale University’s American Studies program. He also earned a graduate certificate in Educational Leadership for Independent Schools from Johns Hopkins University. His long-standing, deep commitment and scholarship related to American history and to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion were particularly appealing to the Head Search Committee. Tucker will remain as Assistant Head of School at Sacramento Country Day School for the 2019 20 school year. Tucker, his wife Angela, and their two children, Matteo (10) and Ruby (7), are excited to move to Sonoma County and join our community in July of 2020. Angela works as a Project Manager for Honey, a female-led marketing, design, and branding firm that focuses in the food, beverage, and agriculture space throughout California. We have learned a great deal about ourselves through this search process and are so grateful to the many talented candidates who explored Sonoma Academy’s future with us. We are especially grateful to our extraordinary community for engaging so wholeheartedly throughout the process. At every point, you made our core values of a connected, inclusive community led by inspiring teachers abundantly clear.

    We will enjoy a momentous 2019-20 school year where we will celebrate and say a fond farewell to our founding head of school Janet Durgin. The Board will work closely with both Janet and Tucker to ensure a smooth transition. Our community looks forward to Tucker joining us in 2020-21, and we are confident that Sonoma Academy will continue to thrive under his leadership. Please join us in welcoming Tucker, Angela, Matteo and Ruby to the Sonoma Academy community!

    For more information throughout this year, please visit https://www.sonomaacademy.org/about/head-of-school-transition and pay attention to the Head Transition column that will be featured in the Coyote Courier.

    Warmly,

    Kitty Angell, Founding Trustee and Head of the Search Committee

    Search Committee
    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
    Read More
  • 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.

    Warmly,

    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.
     
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  • 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

    Warmly,

    Kitty Angell, Chair of the Search Committee
    Tory Nosler, Chair of the Board of Trustees
    Read More

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

Sonoma Academy Is...

Sonoma Academy is the only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On our beautiful campus nestled at the base of Taylor Mountain in Southeastern Santa Rosa, our students are able to explore their interests and passions in a rigorous and inspiring environment that develops a lifelong love of learning and prepares them for college and beyond.