Head of School Transition

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.


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

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, Sonoma Academy 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.