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Head of School Search

Jim Maffezzoli, Chair of MMS’ Board of Trustees, addresses parents at a meeting about the Head of School search (April, 2018).

In March 2018, Head of School Brenda Mizel announced that she will be retiring at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Mrs. Mizel came to MMS in 2011, and during her tenure, oversaw a $4 million capital campaign and a year-long construction process expanding the school to combine with the building next door. The renovation was the school’s first major facility project since moving to its current site in 1996.

In preparation for Mrs. Mizel’s departure, the school’s Board of Trustees has established a Search Committee composed of parent trustees and faculty/staff members to steward the process for selecting the next Head of School.  The group is excited to find new leadership who will embrace MMS’ legacy while steering the school through the next phase of its evolution.

Head of School Retirement Announcements

Letter from Head of School Brenda Mizel 

Letter from Board of Trustees Chair Jim Maffezzoli

Search Updates

April 2018: Head of School Position Statement

September 2018: Update from Jim Maffezzoli, Head of School Search Committee Chair

Early October 2018: On September 24, the Head of School Search Committee met with RG175 consultants and reviewed candidate applications.  The candidate pool was large, impressive, and diverse, including current heads, division heads and rising stars from a variety of states.  Eight semifinalists were chosen and will meet with the Search Committee off-site on October 19-20. After those interviews, three finalists will be selected and will visit MMS.

Late October 2018: Our finalists will be coming between late October and mid November. Parents are invited to attend the following sessions:

  • Visit 1: October 28 – 30
    Parent session: October 29, 6-7 pm (childcare provided); October 30, 8:30-9:30 am
  • Visit 2: November 7 – 9
    Parent session November 8, 6-7 pm (childcare provided); November 9, 8:30-9:30 am
  • Visit 3: November 11 – 13
    Parent session November 12, 6-7 pm (childcare provided); November 13, 8:30-9:30 am


Who is managing the search process?

The Board of Trustees’ Search Committee is managing the process. The group includes trustees Gerardo Rodriguez, Alison Horton, Sharon Schuur, Alvin Crawford, Sarah Farivar-Hayes, and Monique Neal, Elementary Co-Director Nancy Burton, and Director of Admissions Marielle Lopez. These members offer a diverse set of experiences and points of view as well as a strong degree of commitment to and involvement in the School. The group is working in partnership with the firm Resource Group 175 (RG175) and two of their consultants, Linda MacMurray Gibbs and Jerry Katz, both former heads of New York City schools having led The Hewitt School and Rodeph Sholom School, respectively. They will recruit candidates and facilitate and support our search process.

What is the role of the Search Committee?

The Search Committee is charged with engaging and learning from all constituents to define the qualities required of the next Head of School. The Search Committee reviews candidate files, interviews the most viable candidates, and identifies three to four finalists who will visit our campus. After considering input from all constituents who meet with finalists, the Search Committee recommends one candidate for appointment by the Board of Trustees. Until the finalist phase, the work of the Search Committee must remain strictly confidential.

Who makes the final decision on selecting a new Head of School?

The Board, with the recommendation of the Search Committee, will formally vote to extend an offer to the next head.

Will the Head of School search impact my child's experience?

Brenda Mizel will remain our head of school until June 30, 2019. The Head of School Search will have little or no visibility to students. While the faculty and administration’s input will be sought throughout the head search process, it will not intrude on classroom time. MMS is committed to ensuring that each child has a fulfilling academic and student experience during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.

How will the Search Committee keep the community updated?

You can expect periodic communication from the Search Committee throughout the process. It is important to note that most of the search process will be confidential: candidates usually do not notify their current schools of their involvement until they’re named finalists. If you have questions or thoughts to share, feel free to reach out to the Search Committee via email at

How can I help during the search?

Broad community input is critical. In April 2018, every parent, faculty member, and administrator had the opportunity to meet with the RG175 consultants to share their thoughts about the leadership, professional, and personal qualities required in the new head. In the fall of 2018, the community will again be invited to meet the Head finalists. Please recommend and encourage any highly qualified candidates to apply by emailing our RG175 consultants Linda and Jerry (emails below). Please bring any rumors or speculation directly to the Search Committee (email below) to minimize the spreading of any inaccurate information. Finally, please read carefully any communications from the Search Committee.

What is the timeline for the search?

See the calendar on the top right-hand side of the page.

Will MMS’ mission or philosophy change with a new Head of School?

No. The School’s mission has been thoughtfully developed over time. We are committed to being a Montessori institution that embraces the core values of Dr. Maria Montessori’s teaching practices and philosophy. An important factor in evaluating the next Head of School will be the degree to which the candidates understand, support, and can enhance our mission.

Important Contact Information:

Feel free to reach out if you have additional questions or would like to apply to be the next MMS Head of School.

Search Committee:
Linda Gibbs:
Jerry Katz:

Connect with our Admissions Office

Learn more about Montessori education at MMS. Connect directly with our Enrollment Director this Spring.