Head of School Search

The Thacher Board of Trustees has embarked upon the search for the next Head of School. Together with our search partners from Spencer Stuart, the search committee is leading our community through this important process and looks forward to engaging with and hearing from many of you along the way. Please continue to check back here for updates and new information.

A Message from the Search Committee Chairs

March 3, 2023

Dear Thacher Community,
On behalf of the entire Search Committee, we extend our sincere appreciation to the more than 450 of you who shared your perspectives with us and Spencer Stuart via our online community survey and in-person meetings with students, faculty, and staff. These efforts were designed to provide the entire community with an opportunity to share thoughts regarding Thacher and the attributes you hope to see in our next Head of School. It also provided a chance for individuals to highlight opportunities and challenges they see for the next leader.
The comments and feedback we received were instrumental to the development of our Opportunity Statement—a detailed overview of the responsibilities, experience, capabilities, and characteristics we seek in our next Head of School. We are pleased to share that document here and it has also been posted on the Thacher Head of School Search webpage.
With the Opportunity Statement complete, the Search Committee and the Spencer Stuart team are moving ahead with identifying candidates. We look forward to sharing more information as the process develops. We expect to announce our next Head of School, who we anticipate will begin in July of 2024, by the fall of 2023.
On behalf of the Board, we are pleased to announce that Jeff Hooper has agreed to continue serving as Interim Head of School through the 2023-2024 school year. We are tremendously grateful to Jeff for his thoughtful, steady leadership and unwavering commitment to the School and its students, both over the last year and throughout his more than 20-year tenure as a teacher, administrator, and coach, a role he will continue this fall on the football field. Our deep gratitude also extends to Jeff’s wife Kara who, in addition to overseeing all events at the Head’s home—including the cherished community tradition of Open House—is the founder of O-Higher Ed, an organization that helps students of the Ojai Valley access higher education. Kara also serves as the Librarian at the Monica Ros School and contributes significant time to supporting and coordinating student support of a number of community organizations throughout the Ojai Valley. This is an especially exciting year for the Hooper family, including sons Hayden ’23 and Hiram ’25, as they will celebrate Hayden’s graduation from Thacher in a few short months.
We look forward to your continued engagement throughout this process and will update you again when there is more to share. As a reminder, information on our full committee and consultants is posted on the Head of School search webpage, and you can share your thoughts with us anytime via email at thacherHOS@spencerstuart.com.

About our Search Partner, Spencer Stuart

For more than 20 years, Spencer Stuart's Education, Nonprofit & Government Practice has helped the world’s preeminent nonprofit organizations build and assess superior leadership teams and boards to meet the evolving demands of the nonprofit sector. 

Their team of experienced consultants bring comprehensive knowledge of and access to top talent throughout the academic sector, as well as a thorough understanding of the sensitivities and cultural nuances of academia.

For more information on Spencer Stuart, visit their website at https://www.spencerstuart.com/.

Previous Correspondence

Contact Us

Do you have questions or thoughts you'd like to share with the committee and consultants? Click here to get in touch.

Search Committee

Laura Van Winkle James CdeP 1993
Gretchen Milligan P ’00, ’02
Dr. Seth Boyd, English Department Chair
Scott Brittingham P '17, '20
Justin Faggioli CdeP 1969 P '00, '02
Blake Grayson CdeP 1991
Annica Howard P '12, '12, '16
Brisha Howe CdeP 2013
Maria Morales-Kent, Director of College Counseling;
P' 12, '13
Anna Ortiz Morfit P '24, '26
Dawn Porter P '19, '22
Yung Roman, Director of Admission Operations; P '13
Janie Richardson CdeP 1983 P '15, '17
Mark Robinson, P'18, '21, '24
Catalina Saenz CdeP 1995, P  '23, '26
Danny Sonenshine CdeP 1991, P '20, '24

Search Consultants

Notice of nondiscriminatory policy as to students: The Thacher School admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other School-administered programs.