After 16 years of service to the Riverdale community and almost four decades as an educator, I will be stepping down as Head of School on June 30, 2023. It is not easy to leave; however, it is time for me to explore some of my passions, such as educational reform, drawing, and writing, and to enjoy time with family and friends.
While I agreed to extend my original term to get us through the difficulties the pandemic has presented, I think now is the right time for someone to build on our success and continue making Riverdale one of the preeminent independent schools in the world.
Working at Riverdale has been the pinnacle of my career. I cannot thank the Board of Trustees and past and present Board Chairs enough for the opportunity to be a part of and to have led this amazing school community since 2007.
It has been a pleasure to work as a team with everyone in our community—whether it is with our outstanding students, staff, faculty, administration, or our supportive Board of Trustees, caring parents, and accomplished alumni. I have formed some of my very closest professional relationships here and have realized some of my most aspirational educational dreams.
I am immensely proud that Riverdale is considered one of the top schools in New York City and the nation for many good reasons. We have become a much more diverse community that better reflects the greater New York City community to which we belong. With the support of the Board, we have raised over $150 million during the last 15 years to achieve excellence while simultaneously innovating to make this organization a beacon for educators around the world.
We have increased our global reach through innovative programs shepherded by PLUSSED+ and sent more and more students abroad to understand and embrace other cultures. We have created myriad programs to develop character, protect free campus discourse, and promote interdisciplinary and experiential learning while figuring out how to make our community more inclusive and equitable. Our graduates go on to engage passionately in their various purposes and “change the world for the good” as our mission states. We have also helped found other non-profit organizations such as the Character Lab and the International Positive Education Network. This is work that I have been proud to lead, but it has always been a team effort with so many campus leaders and the Board of Trustees.
I am certain that Riverdale will continue to be a dynamic and exciting place since the “spirit that quickeneth,” as the traditional motto states, is the zeitgeist of this place. I am indeed happy to have been the instigator of some interesting initiatives and directions, but I am most content to understand that this dynamic spirit is inherent in the Riverdale community. In many ways, my role has purely been to galvanize and catalyze what already existed within our community.
These last two years have been challenging, but they have also shown the resilience and optimism of this community—something I have always cherished and will never forget.