About

Head of School Search

On June 22, 2022, the Board of Trustees announced Dr. Jeneen Graham as the next Head of School for St. Margaret’s Episcopal School. She will begin in this role on July 1, 2023.

Announcing Our Next Head of School

Dear St. Margaret’s Community,

On behalf of our Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Bishop John Harvey Taylor and the full Board of Trustees of St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, I am thrilled to announce Dr. Jeneen Graham as the next Head of School beginning July 1, 2023.

After conducting a search process that spanned the globe, we were overwhelmingly drawn to Jeneen’s unparalleled depth and breadth of experience as both a visionary educator and leader in our community. As a result, she became the unanimous choice to be the fifth Head of School in St. Margaret’s history.
 
Conducting this robust search in a highly competitive market not only afforded us the opportunity to meet many dynamic educators and independent school leaders, it also served to benchmark our school against the deep talent and extensive experience of the marketplace. By this standard, it was abundantly clear to our search committee, the Board of Trustees, as well as the many community members who participated in our finalists meetings, that we have something special at St. Margaret’s, including an exceptional leader in Jeneen who will help write the next chapter of our school’s history.

Academic Innovator

Jeneen is a highly credentialed educational leader. Her background includes significant time at the University of California, Irvine working as both a researcher and lecturer in the Department of Education. As a researcher, she was the Assistant Director and Acting Director of the Center for Research on Cognition and Learning.

She also served as Assistant Director of Admission at St. Andrew’s School, in Boca Raton, and at the highly regarded educational consulting firm Carney Sandoe and Associates in Boston. As Academic Dean at St. Margaret’s, Jeneen led a number of impactful, cross-divisional initiatives including a longitudinal student achievement tracker that not only led to significant enhancements in St. Margaret’s curriculum, but became a model for the broader network of independent schools. Recognizing Jeneen’s potential as a gifted administrator, Will Moseley appointed her to Principal of the Upper School where she has led the school’s largest professional team, pursued operational excellence in every dimension and prioritized student centered educational enrichment.

Collaborative Community Builder

Throughout her tenure at St. Margaret’s, Jeneen has drawn upon multiple lenses through which to view St. Margaret’s and consistently demonstrated her unique perspective to thoughtfully and expertly make connections between divisions and build community throughout the school. As one of our community interviewers shared, “Jeneen’s superpower is her ability to connect with people.” 

A Vision Centered on Hearts & Minds

As a researcher, administrator, teacher and parent, Jeneen embodies the balance of our commitment to educating both hearts and minds. Her Ed.D Dissertation, Elements of Human Effectiveness: Intelligences, Abilities and Personality Traits that Predict Success and Fulfillment in Life, reflects her lifelong professional commitment to integrating academic achievement with health, well-being and long-term personal fulfillment. This perspective is consistent with St. Margaret’s focus on student well-being and demonstrates her aspiration to develop young adults able to thrive not just in the present but for lives of learning, leadership and service.

We are deeply grateful for the leadership Will Moseley has provided our school for the past nine years. The strength of our community was evident to all of the candidates who engaged in our search process, and it is a testament to Will’s outstanding mentorship that we were able to find our next Head of School within our own professional community. We are extraordinarily lucky to have a year of overlap between Will and Jeneen to ensure a smooth handoff.

During the next few weeks, the Board of Trustees will identify a Transition Committee to support Jeneen as she assumes this new leadership role. Throughout the 2022-2023 school year, the Transition Committee will create opportunities for Jeneen to connect with St. Margaret’s students, parents, professional community, alumni and Board of Trustees.
 
Thank you for your engagement and continued support throughout this process. 

Go Tartans!

Sincerely,

Paul C. Westhead
President, Board of Trustees

List of 1 items.

  • About Dr. Jeneen Graham

    Jeneen Graham, Ed.D. is the Principal of the Upper School at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano and has been serving in this role since 2018. As Principal, Dr. Graham leads a community of 475 students and over 75 professional community members. She also teaches AP Psychology. Prior to becoming Principal, as Academic Dean of St. Margaret’s, her responsibilities included curriculum development and alignment for the school community, teacher professional development, database development and data analysis, and the pursuit of promising pedagogical practices and assessments. Dr. Graham has collaborated with edX, a provider of high-quality online learning opportunities governed by MIT and Harvard, to develop their first-ever high school MOOCs. She has been a frequent presenter at industry conferences including the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES), California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and the Educational Records Bureau (ERB). She is the Co-Chair of the CAIS Think Tank for Data Based School Improvement and a Board Member for the California Teacher Development Collaborative (CATDC). She also provides advisory support for St. Margaret’s community programs, Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano and Special Camp. Dr. Graham’s dissertation was entitled, Elements of Human Effectiveness: Intelligences, Abilities and Personality Traits that Predict Success and Fulfillment in Life.

    Prior to working at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, Dr. Graham served on the St. Margaret’s Board of Trustees while she was on staff in the Department of Education at the University of California, Irvine as a lecturer and a researcher. She was the Assistant Director and later the Acting Director of the Center for Research on Cognition and Learning. Before joining UCI, Dr. Graham was the Assistant Director of Admission for St. Andrews School in Boca Raton, Fl. She began her career at Carney, Sandoe and Associates, a well-known educational consulting firm in Boston, MA. Dr. Graham holds a B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Spanish from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH and an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from a joint UCI/UCLA program.

    Publications and Presentations

    • Graham, J. and Mazzola C. (2022). Measuring Your Mission and Vision: Systems of Data Collection and Analysis. Presentation at the 2022 CAIS Trustee/School Head Online Conference. Online.
    • Robles, M., Graham, J., Durgin, J. & Barrett, S. (2019). Creating a Mission-Driven Assessment System: Lessons from the CAIS Assessment Think Tank. Presentation at the National Association of Independent Schools annual meeting. Long Beach, CA.
    • Graham, J., & de Forest, J. (2018). Better Understand How Well you Meet your Mission: Calling All (Aspiring) Independent School Researchers. Presentation at the National Association of Independent Schools annual meeting. Atlanta, GA.
    • Allen, R., Dahlem, R., Greene, R. & Graham, J. (2017). Roots and Wings: Preparing Students for the New College Campus Reality. Presentation at the National Association of Independent Schools annual meeting. Baltimore, MD.
    • Graham, J. (2015 and 2017). Measuring what Matters. Presentations as Faculty member of Leading from the Middle Annual conference, California Association of Independent Schools. Palm Springs, CA.
    • Graham, J. & Johnson, J. (2017). WRAP: An illustration of Teacher and Student Self-Reflection. Presentation at the ERB 90th Annual Conference. Boston, MA.
    • Graham, J., Blount, J. & Wiersma, A. (2016). Using ERB Data to Measure What Matters. Presentation at the ERB 89th Annual Conference. Chicago, IL.
    • Graham, J. (2015). What Teaching a MOOC with edX Taught me. NAIS Blog. Washington, D.C.
    • Graham, J. (2014). Measuring What Matters. Presentation at NAES Annual Meeting. Anaheim, CA.
    • Rutherford, T., Farkas, G., Duncan G., Burchinal, M., Graham, J., Kibrick, M., Richland, Tran, N., Schneider, S., Duran, L. & Martinez, M.E. (2014). A Randomized Trial of an Elementary School Mathematics Software Intervention:Spatial Temporal Math. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 7:4, 358-383.
    • Graham, J., (2013). Measuring What Matters. Presentation at the CAIS annual Conference. Los Angeles, CA.
    • Rutherford, T., Burchinal, M., Farkas, G., Graham, J., Kibrick, M., Long, J.J.,…Martinez, M.E. (2012, April). Evaluation of Spatial Temporal Mathematics: Main and differential effects on standardized test scores. Paper submitted to the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, Vancouver, Canada.
    • Long, J. J., Rutherford, T., Richland, L. E., Graham, J., Antenore, F., Coulson, A., & Martinez, M.E. (2011,May) Fidelity of implementation in ST Math. Poster presented at the Science of Student Success conference of the Learning & the Brain Society, Chicago, IL.
    • Lee, D.S., Rutherford, T., Hinga, B., Graham, J., & Martinez, M. (2011, May) Brain Boost: A Model for Direct Cognitive Enhancement. Poster presented at the Science of Student Success conference of the Learning & the Brain Society, Chicago, IL.
    • Rutherford, T., Graham, J., Kibrick, M., Burchinal, M., Lee, D.S., Long, J.J., Martinez, M. E. (2011, April). Change in standardized test scores in response to an individualized math intervention. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, New Orleans, Louisiana.
    • Martinez, M.E., Klunder, J. & Graham, J., (2010). Strategies for the direct enhancement of intelligence. Presented at the annual meeting of American Education Research Association, Denver, CO

Thank You!

Dear St. Margaret’s Community,
 
As Co-Chairs of the Head of School Search Committee, we extend deep gratitude to the many members of our community engaged throughout this process – professional community, parents, students, alumni, and Trustees – who contributed to the ultimate selection of Dr. Jeneen Graham as our next Head of School.  We appreciate your participation, feedback and trust throughout the entire search process.  We’d especially like to thank the Board of Trustees Search Committee members who spent countless hours and channeled our community’s common goals to reach this successful outcome.
 
Cathy Stahl and Dana Sullivan

Head of School Search Process

List of 3 items.

  • Phase 1 | Define Position Criteria October-January

    Goal: Surface qualities, traits and skills envisioned in our next Head of School to inform Spencer Stuart’s search strategy.
    • Hired search consultant, Spencer Stuart
    • Launched Search Committee
    • Solicitation of input from St. Margaret’s community through onsite meetings with senior administration team, working session with Board of Trustees, and survey of current parents, professional community, alumni and Upper School students
    • Community Survey #1 was deployed, December 1–15, 2021, and closed on December 16.
  • Phase 2 | Create Position Statement and Develop Pipeline of Prospects January - March

    Goal: Develop position specification and begin active search for potential candidates.
    • Spencer Stuart formally launches search, posts position statement and actively recruits and develops candidates throughout January and February
    • Survey #2 to solicit input from the St. Margaret’s community on school culture priorities. Expected two-week deployment in January 2022
  • Phase 3 | Engage finalists April - June

    Goal: Evaluate and select final candidates.
    • Confidential candidate visits and evaluations
    • Search committee recommends slate of final candidates to Board of Trustees
    • Announcement of next Head of School expected in June 2022

Head of School Search Process FAQ

List of 11 items.

  • Who is leading the search for St. Margaret’s next Head of School?

    Hiring and supporting the Head of School in pursuit of the school’s mission and core values is one of the primary roles and responsibilities of the Board of Trustees.

    Per the by-laws of St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, and consistent with National Association of Independent Schools best practice, the Board of Trustees is responsible for appointing the next Head of School. The Board established a Head of School Search Committee, which is chaired by and comprised of current trustees, that will engage in the search process and ultimately recommend a candidate to the full Board for approval. 

    The Board of Trustees engaged Spencer Stuart, a global search firm with an exceptional practice in the independent school space, to guide the development of search strategy, lead a comprehensive and broad recruitment process, and ultimately ensure a successful process and outcome.
  • What is the role of the Search Committee?

    The role of the Head of School Search Committee is to engage in a thoughtful, thorough process to identify, assess, and ultimately recruit and recommend the best possible candidate for the Board to consider as the next Head of St. Margaret’s Episcopal School.
  • Who is on the Search Committee?

    • Cathy Stahl, Co-Chair (current Upper School parent)
    • Dana Sullivan, Co-Chair (current Middle and Upper School parent, Past PTF President 19-20)
    • Susan Brown (former parent and church member)
    • Suad Elias (current Middle School parent)
    • Joyce Lee (Vice President of the Board, and current Middle and Upper School parent)
    • Mattingly Messina ’13 (President of the Tartan Alumni Council)
    • Ali Monge (current Middle School parent and church member)
    • Jason Weiss (Former President of the Board, current Upper School parent and church member)
    • Paul Westhead (President of the Board and current Upper School parent)
  • What was the criteria for selecting the members of the Search Committee?

    The Committee members were selected based on their unique and broad skills, knowledge, perspective and experiences. Members have demonstrated sustained commitment to St. Margaret’s mission, vision, and core values; an ability to prioritize the interests of the school; and a willingness and ability to commit a significant amount of time to the process.
  • What is the role of current Head of School Will Moseley?

    The Board of Trustees will continue to work closely with Head of School Will Moseley until his departure in July 2023. Mr. Moseley also has met personally with the search consultants from Spencer Stuart to share his perspective and deep expertise on the state of the school and its future. We also expect that finalist candidates will be eager to meet with him to learn more about St. Margaret’s Episcopal School from his unique and expert perspective. Mr. Moseley is committed to supporting a smooth transition process with the next head of school.
  • When will the next Head of School be announced?

    The Board of Trustees aims to announce the next Head of School by summer of 2022 and remains flexible and ready to adapt to the needs a highly dynamic, competitive and active market.
  • How can the community contribute to the process?

    Current parents, students, the professional community and Tartan Alumni leadership were invited to share input in two surveys to inform the search process and position statement. The team at Spencer Stuart has also visited with the Board of Trustees and the professional community on campus to seek additional guidance and insights. They have carefully compiled and reviewed these inputs to inform the search strategy and candidate development.

    The Search Committee invites the community to submit candidate nominations, comments and requests for information, in confidence, to smeshos@spencerstuart.com, or directly to Co-Chairs Cathy Stahl and Dana Sullivan.
  • What key themes came out of the community feedback?

    Through the first phase of our process, the Search Committee and Spencer Stuart heard several key themes and qualities that are important to the St. Margaret’s community:
    1) St. Margaret’s strong sense of community, 2) the school’s child-centered approach and focus on the whole student, 3) mission-driven institution, grounded in Episcopal identity, 4) desire for a seasoned and well-rounded leader with strong leadership skills who can confidently navigate challenges, and 5) St. Margaret’s community is unified in its support for the direction of the school, its mission and current leadership model.
    The position specification reflects the full scope of the community’s feedback.
  • What is the scope of the search process?

    Given the highly competitive job market, Spencer Stuart will be undertaking a broad and comprehensive search strategy process that may include: independent school leaders from across the nation, as well as candidates from higher education, international independent schools and entrepreneurial non-profit leaders with a passion for and background in education.
  • What is the role of Spencer Stuart?

    The Spencer Stuart team will support the Search Committee through the interview and recruitment process, ensuring that the candidates’ and committee’s need for information, diligence, and confidentiality are met.

    From Spencer Stuart, Mary Gorman, Kristine Johnson, and Irma Encarnación are leading these efforts on behalf of St. Margaret’s. Mary, Kristine and Irma bring extensive expertise in supporting head of school transitions within leading independent schools, and bring strong networks across other sectors likely to be relevant for the transition at St. Margaret’s, including higher education.
  • Whom do I contact if I have a question or a recommendation?

    It is important to the Board of Trustees that St. Margaret’s community members have a voice in shaping the qualities of our next Head of School and your feedback will have a meaningful impact. Thank you for your participation in the surveys and ongoing support of the Board of Trustees’ search process.

    Candidate nominations, comments and requests for information should be directed, in confidence, to smeshos@spencerstuart.com. We also welcome you to contact the Search Committee Co-Chairs directly if you have any questions or feedback, Cathy Stahl and Dana Sullivan.

Search Committee

Committee Co-Chairs
Cathy Stahl P '22, '23
Dana Sullivan P '25, '28, Past PTF President
 
Committee Members
Suad Elias-Atala P '26, '28
Susan E. Brown P '17, SMEC
Joyce Lee P '23, '27, BOT Vice President
Mattingly Messina '13, Alumni Council President
Ali Monge P '26, '28, SMEC
Jason Weiss P '22, '22, '24, BOT Past President, SMEC
Paul Westhead P '17, '22, BOT President

Search Consultants

For over 25 years, Spencer Stuart’s Education and Nonprofit Practice has been serving the education sector, including top independent schools, liberal arts colleges, research universities, and other education-driven organizations. Spencer Stuart helps the world's preeminent academic institutions identify and recruit leaders with the talent and credentials to thrive in today's complex academic landscape.
 
Mary Gorman, Kristine Johnson, and Irma Encarnación are leading Spencer Stuart’s efforts on behalf of St. Margaret’s. Mary, Kristine and Irma bring extensive expertise in supporting head of school transitions within leading independent schools, and bring strong networks across other sectors likely to be relevant for the transition at St. Margaret’s, including higher education.
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
NON DISCRIMINATION POLICY
St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
949.661.0108
 
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