Head of School Succession

Board Names Blossom Beatty Pidduck as Thacher’s Ninth Head

The succession committee and the board of trustees recently announced their unanimous selection of Blossom Beatty Pidduck CdeP 1992 to be the ninth head of The Thacher School. In her 15 years at Thacher, Blossom has taught in the English Department, served as the department chair, worked as dean of faculty, led Extra-Day Trips, and served as the director of studies and the assistant head of school. She has proven herself to be a fearless forward thinker with large measures of open-mindedness, creativity, infectious energy, and optimism to lead the next generation of Thacher faculty and students. She assumed her new post on July 1, 2018. 

Blossom succeeds Michael K. Mulligan, head of school since 1993, who retired on 
June 30, 2018, at the conclusion of the 2017-18 academic year. The community was able to thank Michael and Joy Sawyer-Mulligan in many ways as they finished strong at Thacher. We are deeply grateful for their Thacher years.  

Head of School Search Milestones

  • Feb 10, 2017—Michael K. Mulligan, Joy Sawyer-Mulligan, and Cabot Brown CdeP 1979 announce Michael and Joy’s retirement plans. 
  • Mar 20, 2017—Gretchen H. Milligan, succession committee chair; Toby Rosenblatt CdeP 1956, succession committee vice chair; and Cabot Brown CdeP 1979, board chair, announce the members of the succession committee and the selection of a search consultant, Educational Directions, Inc.
  • Mar 24, 2017—The succession committee surveys faculty, staff, alumni, and other members of the Thacher community in order to gather input and insight into the culture of the School, qualities of the ideal candidate, and opportunities for Thacher, which will be used by the search consultants in their recruiting efforts. 
  • May 1, 2017—The succession committee shares the prospectus that will be used in recruiting the next head of school.
  • September 5, 2017—The succession committee announces that they have begun reviewing completed applications from a strong pool of candidates. They plan to select a group of semifinalists soon who will be introduced to the community during separate multi-day visits with the Thacher community.  
  • October 9, 2017—The succession committee and the board of trustees announce the appointment of Blossom Beatty Pidduck CdeP 1992 as Thachers next head of school.
  • July 1, 2018—Blossom Beatty Pidduck CdeP 1992 officially assumes her post as Thachers ninth head of school.

Succession Committee

Gretchen H. Milligan, P 00, 02; Chair
Philip L. Pillsbury Jr. CdeP 1967, P ’08; Vice Chair
Riley Bechtel CdeP 1970, P 99, 00, 03
Cabot Brown CdeP 1979, P 10, 15
Cindy Castañeda CdeP 1988, P 20
David Chao CdeP 1984, P 14, 17
Justin Faggioli CdeP 1969, P 00, 02
Mark Holman CdeP 1986
Jeff Hooper, Dean of Faculty
Maria Morales-Kent, Director of College Counseling, P 12, 13
Louise M. Patterson, P 12, 19
Janie Richardson CdeP 1983, P 15, 17
Toby Rosenblatt CdeP 1956

Phil moved to vice chair in May when Toby was asked to join another task force of the board. Toby remains on the committee.

Head of School Search Prospectus