by Hailey Kim '19
On Wednesday, October 31, future Head of School Elizabeth English announced that she would no longer be coming to NCS next fall.
NCS held a nationwide search for our future Head, which started in January after Ms. Jamieson, our current Head, announced that she would be departing NCS after the 2018-2019 school year. NCS even put together a Search Committee comprised of faculty and alumni to search for our new head. With over ten possible candidates, four were invited back for more interviews and the Committee was consistently impressed with Ms. English’s vision for NCS. On August 27, Alice Hill ‘74, Chair of the Governing Board announced that Ms. English would be our new Head of School starting in 2019-2020 school year.
Ms. English undoubtedly has an impressive track record. She has been the Head of School at the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles, California for ten years. She is a advocate for girls education and focuses on building a healthy school environment. At the Archer School, she integrated STEM more broadly into the classroom, established university research partnerships, and strengthened Archer’s dance and athletics programs.
When Ms. English came to NCS early this fall for one of our Upper School Assemblies, she was receptive to NCS student’s questions and welcomed into our community. This assembly time was a chance for us to get to know our future head more, as well as allow her to share her vision with us for the future of NCS. Unfortunately her time was limited and many students were unable to ask her their questions.
Of course, Ms. English’s announcement came to a shock to many. In the email sent to the entire school and parents, Hill ‘74 states “Elizabeth English was appointed to the position in August, but she has concluded, after extensive reflection, that this is not the right time for her and her family to make this move. We wish her well in her future endeavors.” The Search Committee has likely restarted their process. While it is clear that the Committee would like to find a new Head to start next year, they have made it clear that they do not want to rush this process and would consider an Interim Head in order to find the right Head of School for us.
Ms. English’s departure now allows the Search Committee to take a step back and examine who should really be our head. While there are many questions up in the air as to more reasons why Ms. English did not decide to pursue her career at NCS, us, as a student body should thank our Search Committee and support whatever decision they may make for the upcoming school year.