Last spring, our Head of School Search Committee, composed of nine trustees and three faculty members, embarked on an international search to identify the individual best equipped to lead our beloved school and community. Your voices, along with our school’s mission statement and strategic plan, guided the creation of our Opportunity Statement and ultimately helped us to identify our next Head of School.
You sought a Head committed to academic excellence, integrity, and service. You asked for a visionary leader with a curious, vibrant intellect and a strong moral compass who would embrace every aspect of Cate’s dynamic, diverse, and tight-knit community.
We have found all of this in our next Head of School, Ms. Alex Lockett.
Ms. Lockett won the admiration of the extended Cate community during her visit to the Mesa with her approachability, her eagerness to listen and learn, her positive and seemingly endless energy, and her genuine care for student and faculty well-being. She brings with her a demonstrated commitment to academic rigor and faculty professional development, extensive experience with diversity and inclusion work, a background in mediation as well as business administration and management, and most importantly, an extraordinary ability to connect with students, faculty, parents, and alumni alike.
Ms. Lockett’s own educational journey began as a student at the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. She studied pre-med at Brown University, where she earned her BS in Biology, and later earned an MBA from Mills College with a focus on Educational Leadership. During her fifteen years at San Francisco University High School, she taught, served as Dean of Students, and gained national recognition for an innovative mentoring program she developed. In 2019, she joined the highly respected Crystal Springs Uplands School as Head of Upper School and has led that community with exemplary skill and compassion through the challenges of the pandemic.
Ms. Alex Lockett distinguished herself from a field of diverse and impressive candidates as a coalition builder and a driven agent of positive change. We have found in her someone who deeply senses “the spirit of this place” and who will lead our school into the future with strength, vision, and courage while honoring its core values and distinguished past.
As Cate embarks on this exciting new chapter, it is with great joy that we welcome Ms. Lockett, along with her husband Dr. Paul Hauser, a beloved and respected science teacher at the Nueva School, and their two sons, Henry (8) and Walker (5), who are particularly excited about their new backyard, the Mesa. We join you, our Cate community, in celebrating Ms. Lockett’s appointment as our eighth Head of School and look forward to extending her entire family a warm Cate welcome!
I can’t begin to express how honored, humbled, and excited I am to become Cate’s eighth Head of School. It is no exaggeration to say that I wake up each morning thinking of Cate School and imagining the day I begin my life on the Mesa. Luckily, that day is coming very soon.
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 will be 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 the past few months of learning about Cate, I’ve been 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 confirmed 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.
The School wouldn’t be where it is today without the care and steadfast leadership of Mr. Ben Williams and the Board of Trustees, who have acted as selfless stewards of this community. It is their vision that has set the school on a course for continued excellence and growth for generations to come.
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 wish you all a joyful holiday season and look forward to connecting with you all in 2023 and beyond.
Incoming Head of School
Alex Lockett with Cate students and faculty during her visit to the Mesa in November.
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.
Calgary Avansino ’93
Frank Griffin P’09,’12
Sheila Marmon Heuer ’90
Jay Melican ’84
Rosalind Emmett Neiman
’89, P’21,’23,’25 (Trustee)
Annalee Salcedo P’26
Brian Tom P’22,’23
Board Chair, Trustee, ex-officio
Lisa Stanson ’92
Board President, Trustee, ex-officio