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Head of School Selection Process

Serena Wilkie Gifford announced her plans to step down as Tower's Head of School in June of 2023. Ms. Gifford is a thoughtful, effective leader who cares deeply about Tower's mission and supporting a culture of belonging for students and families. We will miss Ms. Gifford's tremendous leadership and her joyful connections with students.

Nevertheless, as a 110-year-old institution, we are also a forward-looking community that embraces new perspectives and experiences. We look forward with anticipation to each step in the search process. Especially after reading the following about our candidates.

See below for the timeline set by Tower's Head of School Search Committee. 

We are enormously impressed by the breadth of experience, educational philosophy and cultural fit for our school and mission represented by these candidates. Their enthusiasm for joining Tower is a testament to our community, and the reputation for excellence achieved by our faculty and students.

Tower School's Head of School Search Committee

The Head of School Position Description

Tower's Board of Trustees, in collaboration with consultants at Carney, Sandoe & Associates and Tower's Head of School Search Committee, is managing the search for Tower’s next Head of School with an eye toward continuing the essential work initiated under Serena Wilkie Gifford’s leadership. All members of our school community will have opportunities to participate during this exciting time in our extraordinary school's history.

The Head of School position description was produced by Carney Sandoe & Associates in consultation with the Search Committee.

Read the Position Description.


PDF: Head of School Position Description 2022

The Head of School Search Leadership Team

Logo: Carney Sandoe & Associates

Carney Sandoe & Associates, Search Consultants

The Search Consultants at Carney Sandoe & Associates have extensive experience conducting Leadership Search Services for educational institutions—from independent schools to universities. We have retained executive search consultants, Bob Fricker and Lisa Parsons to join us in managing Tower School's search process. Each brings a wealth of experience and an invaluable network of connections to the process. As a team, they possess a deep understanding of our school culture and community having worked with us in prior searches. 

Tower School Logo

Towers Head of School Search Committee 

The search committee is responsible for ensuring a thorough process, vetting potential candidates, and making a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for the final hiring decision. We welcome your thoughts, questions, and suggestions throughout the process and will keep everyone informed. 

  • Alethea McCormick ’89, P’19, ’21, ’23, ’26
    Chair, Board of Trustees; Co-Chair, Search Committee 
  • Jeff Carter P’20, ’25
    Co-Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees; Co-Chair, Search Committee
  • Matthew Velluto P’23, ’26,
    Co-Vice-Chair of the Board; Chair of the Development Committee
  • Eric Gyllenborg P’21, ’23, Board Clerk
  • Kate Bracken ’92, P’21, ’23, ’25, Board Member
  • Angie Munro ’91, P’26, ’29, Board Member
  • Jennifer Vetter P’25, ’28, TSPA President
  • Mary Dailey P’31, Faculty, Administrator
  • Stephanie Fitzgerald P’27, ’29, Faculty

Opportunities to Participate and Stay Informed


Bold type indicates opportunities for community participation.
Check marks indicate completed milestones.

Month Milestone
✓ March Candidate recruitment, ongoing
✓ March Informal Search Committee meetings with leading candidates, ongoing
✓ April

Survey sent to faculty and community members  

✓ May 9 & 13

Carney Sandoe & Associates consultants visit Tower

✓ July–August

Search committee reviews candidate portfolios and selects semi-finalists

✓ July–August

Search committee conducts semi-finalist interviews, selects a set of finalists

✓ September–October

Finalists visit Tower individually; faculty and community members meet finalists 

✓ September–October

Community members provide feedback to Search Committee

✓ October

Search committee reviews community feedback, makes reference calls

✓ October

Search committee makes recommendation to the Board of Trustees

October Board of Trustees votes to select Tower's Next Head of School
November Letter of Agreement is signed and Tower's next Head of School is announced
June 2023 Serena Wilkie Gifford's final month at Tower
June 2023 Tower's next Head of School officially begins at Tower