School Leadership

List of 5 items.

  • Head of School

    Blossom Beatty Pidduck CdeP 1992
    As the first alumna to head Thacher, Blossom brings an enthusiastic vision to the challenge of shaping the future of teaching and learning, a vision that is deeply grounded in the history and culture of Thacher.

    “I believe in the power of Thacher to change the course of its students’ lives,” says Blossom, “because it changed mine. Casa de Piedra is the very foundation of who I am. When I communicate the vision for a Thacher yet to come, I do so with the unique power of deep understanding of the Thacher of yesterday and a passion for bringing the best of Thacher into the future.”

    In her 16 years at Thacher, there are few areas of school life that Blossom has not been involved in. Beginning in 1997 as assistant director of admission, her other titles have included English department chair, dean of faculty, director of studies, and assistant head of school.

    As director of studies, Blossom collaboratively led an evolution of Thacher’s academic program, moving the curriculum and pedagogy toward an even more robust practice to meet the needs of adolescent learners in today’s complex world. In the process, she set the School on a path toward rigorous academics beyond the AP program. She also launched the xBlock elective program, which serves our faculty as an incubator for innovative topics and methods while it provides students opportunities to sample subjects they might otherwise miss.

    As a teacher and English Department chair, Blossom developed unique English elective courses such as Nineteenth Century Female Voices and Mexican American Literature and, in partnership with her colleagues in the history department, designed the junior-year American Studies program. Like virtually all Thacher faculty members, she has also led camping trips, coached, and advised.

    Before following the path that led her back to Thacher, Blossom earned a BA from Amherst College, where she majored in English and American Studies. She also holds a master’s in teaching and learning from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. During a four-year hiatus from Thacher, Blossom taught English at the Viewpoint School in Calabasas, California.

    Blossom is married to Thacher classmate Brian Pidduck CdeP 1992, teacher, coach, and director of the Outdoor Program at Thacher. They have twin daughters, Addie and Daisy.
  • Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Matthew Balano
    Matt joined the Thacher community in 2017. Prior to that, he spent 16 years at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, first as a member of the English department, then as academic support director, and later, as the school’s first director of equity and inclusion. During that time he also worked extensively with Magis—a San Francisco-based, Jesuit academic enrichment program for first-generation college-bound students—developing curriculum, recruiting and hiring faculty, serving in admissions, and teaching a variety of courses. At Thacher, in addition to serving as director of diversity and inclusion, Matt teaches in the English department and advises sophomore boys as well as student affinity groups. A San Francisco native with experience in education across three continents—Asia, Europe, and North America—Matt is excited to support Thacher’s mission of developing leaders “in service of the greatest good.” Matt is also a board director and chair of the curriculum committee for World Trust Educational Services, a non-profit dedicated to promoting social and racial justice through dialogue and film. He is the proud father of Thacher student, Marcus Balano '21. Despite their move to Southern California, Matt and Marcus continue to be longtime diehard Golden State Warriors fans.
  • Dean of Faculty

    Jason Carney
    In addition to his dean of faculty role, Jason teaches two sections of history, advises junior boys, and coaches varsity boys' basketball. While at Thacher, Jason has served as History Department chair, dormitory head for three dorms, and a senior admission officer. He has also developed curriculum for many history courses, including Honors U.S. History and Honors Contemporary Ethical Issues. He lives on campus with his wife, Megan, and their three children.

    Additionally, Jason has coached the varsity boys' basketball team since 2002 and, in addition to having received league honors, is a CIF Coach-of-the-Year recipient. He lives on campus with his wife, Megan, and their three children.
  • Assistant Head of School

    Jeff Hooper
    During his time at Thacher, Jeff has taught courses in Spanish, history, and economics. He is also the head coach of varsity football—having himself played four years of football at Trinity University and then worked as assistant football coach at TMI-The Episcopal School of Texas in San Antonio, where he also taught Spanish. Jeff appreciates the tightly knit community at Thacher and enjoys the Outdoor Program, whose trips into the Sespe, the San Rafael Mountains, and the southern Sierra have taught him a lot about camping. Guided by his love of Spanish, Jeff has explored Mexico and studied in Latin America. He lives on campus with his wife, Kara, and their two sons, Hayden ’23 and Hiram.
  • Director of Studies

    Dr. Tracy Miller
    Tracy is from north of Boston, Massachusetts and graduated from Mount Holyoke College, moving to New York City immediately following to pursue a PhD in English at NYU. While in graduate school Tracy taught for NYU’s English dept. She also worked in the summer programs at The Northfield Mount Hermon School and Phillips Academy, which solidified her interest in teaching at the secondary level. Tracy began teaching at The Webb Schools in 2010, where she held a variety of roles, including most recently director of studies. In her free time Tracy loves the outdoors and spending time with her four year old son Joseph and husband Jay.

Board of Trustees

Daniel W. Yih, Chair 
Christina L. Chiu Alfandary CdeP 1985
Riley P. Bechtel CdeP 1970
Scott C. Brittingham
Michael Galgon 
David Graff
T. Newlin Hastings Jr. CdeP 1970 
Annica Howard 
Cristina Hudson
Robert W. Johnson CdeP 1967 
Stephanie Lynch 
Gretchen H. Milligan 
Peter Munzig CdeP 1999
Guadalupe Nickell CdeP 1992
Dawn Porter
Max Reniers CdeP 1992
Janet Carroll Richardson CdeP 1983
Mark Robinson
Brian Smallwood CdeP 1983
Daniel Sonenshine CdeP 1991
Dermond Thomas CdeP 1994
John B. Wagner CdeP 1976
Stefanie Warren CdeP 1996

Honorary and Emeritus
Cabot Brown CdeP 1979, Trustee Emeritus 
Reid W. Dennis CdeP 1944, Trustee Emeritus 
Justin M. Faggioli CdeP 1969, Trustee Emeritus 
E. Randolph Labbe CdeP 1960, Trustee Emeritus
Marshall C. Milligan CdeP 1969, Trustee Emeritus 
Andrew R. Shakman CdeP 1990, Trustee Emeritus
Toby Rosenblatt CdeP 1956, Honorary Trustee
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.