November 6, 2019
Dear Presentation Community,
With profound optimism and excitement for Presentation’s future, the Board of Trustees has approved the Search Committee’s unanimous recommendation to appoint Jacqueline Gallo as our next Head of School, effective July 1, 2020.
Jackie is the quintessential encapsulation of our school’s values and is uniquely qualified to steward our mission of Love, Learn, Lead. Her practical experience in educational leadership and teaching in public, charter and independent schools in the United States, Italy and the UK, coupled with her rigorous academic training as a Cambridge PhD candidate, will enable her to actively drive Presentation’s next phase of development.
In addition to Jackie’s global background in education and service, the Search Committee was drawn to her warmth, empathy, energy, and genuine commitment to children and education. Moreover, Jackie has the vision and drive that make her an engaged and dynamic leader.
Thoughtful and deliberate, Jackie has a view of the skills our students will need to live in a world of increasing change and diversity and to work in jobs we don’t yet know exist. She is credited by references with not only looking to the future but also strategizing how to get from here to there in a user-friendly manner. She brings a breadth and depth of knowledge of child development and best practices that elevate student learning. Her philosophy and dedication to fostering an inclusive, welcoming, nurturing community are not only inspiring but also put into action the values we seek to instill in our children.
As we explored our decision, it was evident that each of the three candidates could be a good Head for Presentation. But the Search Committee challenged the Board to transcend “good" and dig deep to uncover who would truly guide our school to “the next level.” And while “the next level” is without specific definition, we intuitively know the directional objectives that goal entails. With Jackie collaborating with our faculty and Board, I am confident that we will successfully build on the growth achieved during Scott Parker’s seven-year tenure and achieve that aspirational next level for Presentation.
Scott will continue to serve as our Head of School until June 30, 2020 and Jackie will pick up the reigns on July 1, 2020. We are in the process of creating a Head Transition team to ensure that the change in leadership is thoughtful and smooth. Between now and then, the Board will work closely with Jackie as she gets to know Presentation.
With the headship at Presentation, a heartfelt warm welcome from our community during her visit and close family and friends in the Bay Area, Jackie is absolutely thrilled to move to Sonoma and we hope to bring her back for a visit soon.
The Search Committee and Board are deeply grateful to our entire community for its wholehearted engagement and support in carrying out this search process. There is no doubt that Presentation will thrive under Jackie’s leadership. Please join me in welcoming Jackie to our community!
Chairman of the Presentation Board of Trustees
Dear Presentation Community,
I am thrilled and privileged to accept the offer to become your next Head of School! I am truly humbled by your trust and confidence to lead The Presentation School into its next chapter.
During my visit last month, I was overwhelmed by the kindness, warm welcome, and hard work that went into making my visit so memorable. The packed scheduled allowed me to meet so many faculty, children, parents, and community members whose pride and optimism in the school and greater Sonoma community was simply contagious and life giving. I very much look forward to getting to know each and every student and developing trusting and honest relationships with the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, and families.
It is an honor beyond words, as an educator, to be charged by parents and a community to lead the academic, social, emotional, and spiritual development of your children, the pride of your lives. With humility and reverence, I accept this responsibility and vow to work diligently, together with the faculty, staff, and families, to ensure that an academically rigorous, holistic, and transformative education at TPS allows your children to fulfil their innate and God-given potential.
I’d like to publicly thank Jon Sebastiani and Heidi Williams, co-chairs of the search committee for their steadfast dedication to the search process. I send my gratitude to the Board of Trustees and Search Committee who ensured the search proceeded as a community endeavour. Many thanks to Scott Parker, Lauren Miller, and Shanna Rodgers for their warm welcome, professionalism, and enthusiasm to enact a smooth transition.
As I wind down this chapter of my life in the United Kingdom, I am becoming more contemplative in how I might share my own expertise and knowledge with the TPS community and fully embody the values of Love. Learn. Lead. I leave you, for now, with my favorite quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which has inspired me for decades.
“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”
Thank you for this opportunity. I look forward to serving the Presentation community and inspiring your children to Love. Learn. Lead.
“I was thoroughly inspired by Jackie. I think that she has the specific skill set to help our faculty focus on issues that need to be improved such as student support and curriculum. Her diverse background will help our community on so many levels. I am excited to learn more about her SEL work at other schools so that we can implement best practices here.” (Faculty)
“Jackie was thoughtful, engaged, and sincere in her responses to our questions. She conveys warmth and sincerity and seems to find a balance between emotional and intellectual leadership. Her morals are consistent with those of our school and community, and she strikes me as honest and passionate about faculty and students alike..” (Faculty)
“Jackie was a breath of fresh air. She connected to students, teachers, and staff while on campus. She has a deep knowledge of education and what she does not have in experience I feel she will make up for in willingness to collaborate, leadership ability, and bringing the best team together. Jackie is warm, funny and kind. You want to be around her and want to work with and for her. She is a wonderful 'fit' for our school.” (Faculty)
“I was quite honestly taken aback by how fantastic she is. So much of what she brought I don’t think we even realized we were missing at our school…There were multiple characteristics that she has that reminded me of the founding head of school. She was an active and intense listener, she wasn’t afraid to say something unpopular and she seems to have a clear understanding of what the role takes and be up for the hardest parts of this job. I absolutely loved her commitment to the mission of the school. When you have a HOS that truly believes in and commits to the mission of the school, the integrity of the school will be maintained.” (Current Parent)
“I was genuinely impressed with Ms. Gallo. Her thoughtfulness and sincerity addressing each question asked of her was heartfelt, intentional, and therefore moving. Over the course of the hour I felt increasingly convinced of her ability to lead our community in a purposeful, inclusive, and always thoughtful manner. Her background and education as well as her life experiences all seem to have lead her to our little school, and I really believe she would make an incredible head of Presentation…She strikes me as the kind of person who honestly lives her truth, or strives to at any rate every day. She also made a very positive impression upon my kids, and they are honestly the true barometers.” (Current Parent)
“I love this candidate. She is warm, incredibly bright, insightful, mindful, had done her research, instantly connected to the students and teachers and has amazing energy. There is concern "on the street" that she doesn't have the experience necessary to get us out of debt, so we need to ask, is that her job? or is leading the school and its mission her job?” (Current Parent)
“I felt like she really cared about the students and thought that student activities were a big part of school.” (Student)
“I felt what she said fully agreed with our standards, and from the brief lunch I had with her, from what I can tell she really cared.” (Student)
“I like how she wanted to extend the community.” (Student)
We are thrilled to have Doreen Oleson and Cathy Hunter of Resource Group 175 (RG175) assist us with our search. RG175 is one of the most respected educational search consultants in the country, known for tailoring their searches to the uniqueness of each school. The search committee selected RG175 out of other top firms as the best fit for Presentation.
RG175 is working with the search committee to understand Presentation’s unique culture and needs. On February 25-27, their representatives, Doreen Oleson and Cathy Hunter, will meet with a variety of our community members. Shortly after that, they will conduct an online survey of community members who were unable to participate in the on-campus meetings. The process will remain quiet through the spring and summer as RG175 and the search committee vet potential candidates. In fall 2019, finalists will be brought to campus. Throughout this period and through his transition at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, Scott Parker will continue his daily activities as Head of School.