Tiffany Kelly-Gray | Trustee & Co-Chair
Dave Morris | Trustee & Co-Chair

Head of School Search Update from the Board

Dear Bertschi families,
As trustees of Bertschi School, we are extremely honored to serve as Co-Chairs of the Head of School Search Commit­tee. We want to provide an update on some recent developments to the search process, which is now underway. Below you will find information on the following:
  • Head of School Search Committee & Consultant Firm
  • Opportunities for Community Input & Timeline
  • Where to Find Updates & Send Questions
Rafael has been our Head of School for the past five years, succeeding Brigitte Bertschi’s 41 years as the Founder and Head of School. Under Rafael’s guidance, our school has grown as a vibrant community and accomplished many important goals. We thank Rafael for his dedication and service and wish him well as he turns to the next chapter in his professional life. 
We feel very fortunate that Teri Barnett will step up as Interim Head of School beginning July 1. Teri’s six-year tenure and demonstrated commitment to our school’s mission and values are celebrated by our teachers, staff, and families, and is known among fellow independent school leaders in our city and beyond. We extend our gratitude to her, and feel confident in her leadership as we engage in this search process.

Head of School Search Committee & Consultant Firm 

Consis­tent with the best prac­tices laid out by the National Association of Independent Schools, our search will follow the stan­dard process for inde­pen­dent schools. The Board of Trustees has assem­bled a Head of School Search Commit­tee whose goal is to select two to three final­ists for the Head of School posi­tion. We plan to build an outstanding and diverse candidate pool while being as inclusive and transparent as possible. 
The Board has also retained Storbeck Search, a highly-regarded inter­na­tional search firm, to assist us in a national search. We are thrilled to have Sherry Coleman and Nishant Mehta from Storbeck on our team. Both are special­ists in Head of School searches and are excited to help guide us through this process. Over several weeks and months, our consul­tants will provide crucial assis­tance in helping the Search Commit­tee iden­tify and eval­u­ate poten­tial candi­dates. 

Opportunities for Community Input & Timeline

The search will include input from all members of the Bertschi community including parents, faculty, staff, and alumni. The starred events below are the opportunities for parents to engage with the process, with dates forthcoming:
Spring 2021: Virtual Campus Visits Hosted by Storbeck Search*
  • Help iden­tify the qual­i­ties our commu­nity most values in our next Head of School
  • Help Storbeck craft a Position Profile to use as the basis of their search
Summer/Fall 2021: National Search Led by Storbeck Search
Fall 2021: Finalist Visits With the Community*
  • Provide important feedback to the committee on final candidates
Fall 2021: Search Committee Recommendation to the Board of Trustees
November 2021: Announce New Head of School
*parent involvement encouraged
Hiring and retaining the Head of School is the Board of Trustees’ primary responsibility, and therefore the final decision will be theirs. We hope that you will all consider providing your input into this important decision for our school. Worth noting is that many top-tier Head of School candi­dates have excel­lent rela­tion­ships with their current schools and will only partic­i­pate if their involve­ment remains confi­den­tial in the early phases of the search. There­fore, it is crucial for the committee to balance community transparency with strict candidate confi­den­tial­ity until the final candi­dates are identified. 

Where to Find Updates & Send Questions

You will receive regular updates from the Search Commit­tee through­out this process, including both direct communications and updates on the Head of School Search page on our website. We are very excited to engage our community in a thorough, transparent, and inclusive process to identify our next Head of School. With your partic­i­pa­tion, we will find a Head of School who will further our mission of culti­vat­ing compassionate, confident, and creative learners in a global community.
For all questions and inquiries regard­ing the Head of School search process, please contact the Search Commit­tee at
Tiffany Kelly-Gray | Trustee & Co-Chair, Head of School Search Committee
David Morris | Trustee & Co-Chair, Head of School Search Committee
Bertschi School  |  2227 10th Ave E |  Seattle, WA 98102  |  |  |  206-324-5476  |  Give to Bertschi
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