Head of School Search

Head of School Vince Tompkins recently announced in a letter to the community that the 2022-2023 school year would be his last as head of school at Saint Ann’s. The Board of Trustees has begun the process of searching for a new head of school. As that process proceeds we will share updates and information on these pages. Vince remains fully committed to Saint Ann’s through the end of the 2022-23 school year, focused on ensuring that the school will endure and thrive. To read Board President Mino Capossela’s note regarding Vince’s departure click here.

Updates & Timeline

September 2022
Over the months of June and July, the search committee worked closely with our search consultants to review all applications for the Head of School search. In August, the committee identified eight semi-finalist candidates and invited them to campus for interviews. Following a week of intensive interviews, the committee selected three finalists to continue on. We are delighted that all three finalists have accepted the committee’s invitation to spend two days on campus meeting our community. All three visits will take place this month.

June 2022
Following several months of conversations with community members and the publication of the position description, the committee began accepting applications, which will continue through early July. The committee will then spend July and August selecting six to eight semifinalists to interview, before inviting two to four finalists to visit campus in the second half of September. This timing may need to shift based on interested and qualified candidates who may be required to give notice to their current institutions before September. Following the fall campus visits, the committee will review the community’s feedback and make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees in late fall. The search committee plans to continue the discovery and listening process over the summer. Community members who have input to share are encouraged to reach out to search@saintannsny.org or directly to anyone on the search committee over the course of the summer.

May 2022
Over the course of the spring, consultants Bob Fricker and Heather Flewelling held a total of 28 “listening sessions” with different groups and received 600 survey responses. They were able to experience many of the dynamic parts of the Saint Ann’s community and noted the energy and conviction around what makes it special, as well as hear about areas that would benefit from attention in the years to come. The consultants and the search committee are grateful to the Saint Ann’s community for their time and input in this process.

The search committee shared the head of school position statement with the community. The position statement serves as a primary marketing document in the recruitment process, offering potential candidates a glimpse into our school community and culture. Candidates that advance through this process will have multiple interviews and conversations and meet with our community.

The search committee plans to continue the discovery and listening process as we move to the next stage of the search. There are more members of the community that we’d love to hear from. Community members who have input to share are encouraged to reach out to search@saintannsny.org or directly to anyone on the search committee over the course of the summer. Ongoing discovery and listening will help inform the candidate review process and the individual that the search committee will ultimately recommend to the board of trustees as our next head of school.

March 2022
Search Firm
The Search Committee announced the selection of Carney Sandoe & Associates to support the head of school search. Carney Sandoe is a national leadership search and placement firm that focuses on independent schools. Bob Fricker and Heather Flewelling will lead the effort for Saint Ann’s.

Community Engagement
Bob and Heather will visit campus over two days on March 31 and April 1 to meet with faculty, staff, trustees, parents, and students in order to develop a highly informed profile of the qualities and abilities that our school community is seeking in its next leader. These meetings will be an opportunity to learn more about the search and for current constituents to voice their ideas about the qualities they value in our next head of school. The Search Committee will also be scheduling a series of virtual listening sessions for alumni and others to share their thoughts on the search. A community-wide online questionnaire will be sent in April following the campus visit, providing another important avenue through which Carney Sandoe and the Search Committee will be able to capture the valuable insights of each group.

Next Steps
With input and information gained from on-campus meetings and from our community questionnaire, we will complete a Saint Ann’s Head of School position profile to support the search for and screening of candidates.

The posting of the position profile will enable Carney Sandoe and the committee to begin to review and screen a wide and varied pool of candidates. Candidate names will be kept confidential throughout this stage of the process.

Following the review of this pool of candidates, the Search Committee expects to identify a number of finalists who will be interviewed in this last phase of the process. The Search Committee and Carney Sandoe team will also conduct extensive reference checks on each of the finalists and invite the finalists to campus. After reviewing all the information from the reference checks as well as incorporating feedback from our broader community, the Search Committee will make its recommendation for a new head of school to the Board of Trustees.

These phases constitute our current plan, but we also recognize that flexibility will be important as our timing may have to shift based on interested and qualified candidates.

February 2022
The board announced the faculty and staff members who will serve on the Head of School Search Committee.

December 2021
Vince Tompkins announced his plan to step down following the 2022–2023 school year.

The board announced the trustees who will serve on the Head of School Search Committee.

Search Committee

  • Crystal Bobb-Semple, Co-Chair, Trustee
    Crystal is a current Saint Ann’s parent as well as the parent of a graduate. Crystal is the Founder and CEO of the company that operates Camp Half-Blood, Brooklyn, and its related programs. Previously, she was the Owner and Operator of Brownstone Books, an independent bookstore in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Crystal has served on the board of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. A graduate of Hampton University, she also holds an M.P.A. from the University of Delaware and a Doctorate in Education and Organization Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Bobb-Semple joined the Board in 2017.

  • Shahed Fakhari Larson, Co-Chair, Trustee
    Shahed is the parent of two current Saint Ann’s students. She is General Partner and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Coatue Management. Shahed began her career as an M&A attorney at Skadden Arps and spent over a decade at Brunswick Group, a strategic communications firm. She currently also serves on the boards of America Needs You and the Center for Art, Research and Alliances. Shahed received her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. She joined the Board in 2021.

  • Mino Capossela, President, Board of Trustees
    Mino is the parent of two Saint Ann’s graduates. Mino is an investor and was previously a partner at Goldman Sachs. He is a trustee of Scripps College and serves on the Board of Directors of the Hero’s Journey Foundation. Mino received an A.B. degree in government from Harvard College and holds an M.B.A. from INSEAD in France. He joined the Board in 2012.

  • Tony Charuvastra, Trustee
    Tony is the parent of three current Saint Ann’s students. Tony is a practicing psychiatrist who works primarily with children and adolescents. He is also a teacher, working with residents as Assistant Professor at New York University Medical Center in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and with undergraduates through NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences. Tony received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown University, his adult psychiatry training at UCLA-West Los Angeles VA training program, and his child and adolescent psychiatric training at the NYU Child Study Center. He joined the Board in 2017.

  • Josh Epstein ’95, Trustee
    Josh is the parent of three current Saint Ann’s students. He is an executive, entrepreneur and investor creating innovative businesses at the intersection of media and technology. Currently, Josh is building Likewise, a content discovery platform incubated by Bill Gates. He previously led corporate strategy at Viacom, was part of the formative team at ad tech pioneer aQuantive acquired by Microsoft, and was founder and CEO of Periodic, a video news platform. Josh received an A.B. from Princeton University and M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He currently serves on the Board of BRIC. Josh joined the Saint Ann’s Board in 2021.

  • Jamal Jackson '96, Theater Faculty
    Jamal Jackson ’96 is a Saint Ann’s alumnus, parent, and member of the Theater Department who has been teaching dance and choreography to students of all ages at Saint Ann’s since 2001. Jamal also serves as Artistic Director of Jamal Jackson Dance Company (JJDC), which he founded in 2004. JJDC’s work has been presented at venues throughout New York City and beyond; the Company’s choreography and storylines focus on redefining ideas of community and blurring divisive lines while still celebrating the beauty of individual cultures. Reflecting his desire to educate and pass on dance traditions to people of all ages, Jamal has also helped guide organizations like The 92nd Street Y to expand their outreach and youth programs. He currently serves on the Board of Performance Spaces for the 21st Century where he created programming for students from various backgrounds to learn a common dance vocabulary, enabling them to find similarities and differences within their larger community. Jamal holds a B.A. from Brown University and studied dance with Michelle Bach-Coulibaly, Seydou Coulibaly, and Fred Benjamin and worked under M’ba Coulibaly, Salimata Soumare from Kelete Dance Theatre, and Ba Issa Diallo, director of Troupe District du Bamako in Mali, West Africa.

  • Ashley Mathis ’08, Young Alumni Trustee
    After graduating from Saint Ann’s, Ashley earned her B.A. in Sociology from Boston College and her M.Ed in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She develops and facilitates diversity, inclusion, and social justice trainings for nonprofit and community-based organizations. Previously, Ashley was Program Director for a Beacon Community Center at Center for Family Life, a neighborhood-based social services organization in Sunset Park. She serves on the Advocacy Council at the Citizens’ Committee for Children. Ashley began her Young Alumni trustee term in 2020.

  • Louis Trujillo, College Counselor

    Louis Trujillo joined the College Office in 2016, after getting to know Saint Ann’s through his role as Associate Director of Admission at Brown University. As a college counselor, Louis guides juniors, seniors and their families through all the joys and challenges of the college application process. Louis is currently completing his Master’s in Education Policy and Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he was named an Equity and Inclusion Fellow and is studying the history, purpose, and challenges of independent schools. He is a Trustee for the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS) and is an Admissions Advisory Board Member for Mt. Holyoke College (MA). He is also Scholarship Reader for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and is a core faculty member for College Horizons, an organization that provides college admissions workshops to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students from across the nation. Louis holds a B.A. from Brown University.

  • Asiya Wadud, Poetry Faculty
    Asiya Wadud is an acclaimed poet who teaches poetry across divisions at Saint Ann’s. She joined the Saint Ann’s community as a lower school associate teacher in 2016 and began teaching poetry full time in 2018. Asiya is the author of several books of poetry, including Crosslight for Youngbird, day pulls down the sky/ a filament in gold leaf (written with Okwui Okpokwasili), Syncope, and most recently, No Knowledge Is Complete Until It Passes Through My Body. You can read more about Asiya and her work at https://www.asiyawadud.com/. Asiya holds degrees from College of Wooster, University of California at Berkeley, and Stanford University.

  • Mary Watson ’78, Trustee
    Mary is both an alumna and the parent of a Saint Ann’s graduate. Mary has been a Senior Attorney at the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton since 1999 and now serves as the Director of Professional Development for the firm. Before practicing law, Mary was Chair of the Classics and Asian Languages Department at Saint Ann’s, a Latin and Language Structures teacher, and Director of the After School Program. Mary served on the Board from 1996-2005, then spent two years as the Dean of Faculty at Saint Ann’s before returning to the Board in 2008. She holds a B.A. from Amherst College and a J.D. from Yeshiva University, Cardozo School of Law.

Contact Information

The search committee is committed to an inclusive search process. We intend to keep the community informed throughout while also respecting the confidentiality of the candidate recruitment process.
If you have questions about this process, or if you have someone to recommend for the head of school position, you can email the Search Committee at search@saintannsny.org or contact Bob Fricker or Heather Flewelling at Carney Sandoe directly.

Thank you in advance for your help as we look to identify an extraordinary leader who embraces our mission and values and who can lead our school into an exciting and successful future.