I can’t begin to express how honored, humbled, and excited I am to become Cate’s eighth Head of School.
Shaped by an upbringing that valued the importance of curiosity, diverse perspectives, and intellectual vitality, I have always found a sense of purpose and belonging in schools. When I visited the Mesa, I immediately felt an affinity with faculty, staff, and students alike, who wholeheartedly relayed their love of the school by sharing favorite places, memories, and learning moments. Everyone has a story about how Cate has changed their lives, and I feel fortunate to be at the beginning of my own Cate story.
Leading a school is not a solo endeavor. Successfully embracing “the spirit of this place” means engaging community members near and far to share their stories, their views, and their wishes for how they hope the school will evolve while staying true to its roots. As I assume leadership of Cate, I am committed to listening deeply, learning at every turn, and finding opportunities to engage with all of you. In doing so, we will find the best way forward, together.
In my first few months of learning about Cate, I was inspired by its unique vision of what a transformative and caring educational experience can and should be. Cate believes in the power of human connection as the foundation for learning and growth, that a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives are essential for a thriving community, and that learning is fueled by inquiry and exploration.
These defining characteristics align with my own deeply held beliefs about what makes a remarkable school and confirm for me that Cate is the school that I want to devote my life to serving and the place I want to make home for my family. I look forward to building upon and leveraging these strengths as we work together to shepherd Cate into this next chapter of its distinguished history.
While the future holds many questions for us all, I am reassured in knowing that together with my husband, Paul, and our two boys, Henry and Walker, we are joining a community of thinkers, leaders, and learners who will also be our neighbors, friends, and colleagues. I can’t think of a more meaningful place to build a home.
I look forward to connecting with you all in 2023 and beyond.
Incoming Head of School
Last year, after accepting the job at Cate, my family and I visited the Mesa during MLK weekend. We attended all of the festivities that day and I remember thinking to myself how powerful and unusual it felt to see a community collectively taking ownership of building a beloved community. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. …
This fall, I was invited to join The 1911 Group established one year after the founding of Cate. I recently attended the annual conference at Princeton and as the newest and youngest member of the group, I had the opportunity to listen and learn from an incredibly impressive array of school leaders. As part of …
The Search process included extensive and thoughtful outreach, analysis, research, and assessment. The Search Committee partnered with Spencer Stuart to gather information about Cate’s community and culture and in particular, its greatest challenges and opportunities. Using confidential listening sessions, one-on-one interviews, and a community-wide survey as well as interactions with the School leadership, the committee gathered information that served as a guide to identify the ideal character traits of the new Head of School. Based on the community feedback, the committee created the Opportunity Statement to articulate the qualities the School sought in its next Head of School while defining what makes Cate extraordinary.
The hiring of the Head of School is one of the Board’s most important responsibilities. To this end, the Board of Trustees established a Committee composed of a diverse representation of parents, alumni, trustees, and faculty whose charge was to identify and assess candidates for the position of Head of School and provide a recommendation to the Board. The Search Committee was committed to being thoughtful and unbiased and prioritized and considered the interests of the entire Cate community. Members of the committee were:
Calgary Avansino ’93 – Chair, Trustee
Maude Bond – Faculty
Frank Griffin P’09,’12 – Faculty
Kristen Klingbeil-Weis P’08,’09,’12,’22 – Trustee
Sheila Marmon Heuer ’90 – Trustee
Jay Melican ’84 – Trustee
Rosalind Emmett Neiman ’89, P’21,’23,’25 – Trustee
Marianne Sprague P’91,’97,’98,’02,’05,’09 – Trustee
Annalee Salcedo P’26 – Faculty
Brian Tom P’22,’23 – Trustee
Wyatt Gruber ’93 – Board Chair, Trustee, ex-officio
Lisa Stanson ’92 – Board President, Trustee, ex-officio