Website Castilleja Castilleja



Nestled on six acres in residential Palo Alto, California, Castilleja School empowers young women to chart an ambitious course for their education and beyond. The school’s faculty and students are authentic partners in learning in a community that embraces academic excellence, innovation, and bold ideas.

The Castilleja Board of Trustees seeks a leader with the vision, energy, and shared values to write the next chapter of Castilleja’s history, including the immediate construction of a long-awaited modernized campus; investments in strengthening the community for all its members; and the advancement of the school’s program—both academic and co-curricular— in thoughtful, innovative ways. A student centered, intellectually curious, and inspirational leader, the next Head will bring an unwavering focus on excellence, equity, and the vital importance of women’s education. They will relish the opportunity to partner with a talented faculty as they seek to extend Castilleja’s nationally recognized leadership in these areas.


Castilleja’s next Head will possess high intellect and integrity, as well as expansive leadership skills. This educator will bring executive leadership experience to steward the school’s assets, to nurture a sense of community, to communicate with passion and clarity, and to take on challenging conversations and make difficult decisions. In addition, the Head will bring the joy, empathy, and curiosity required to lead an institution that serves dynamic, kind, intellectually engaged students; talented and dedicated employees; and devoted alums.

As such, the Search Committee seeks an individual with a demonstrated ability to:

•       Provide vision, strategic leadership, and insight to advance the school towards its highest aspirations and goals.

•       Embrace the enduring values of girls’ education and the ability to articulate its strength to others.

•       Engage intellectually with faculty and gain their confidence through a commitment to academic excellence, exceptional teaching, and foundational support for the whole child.

•       Develop collaborative, trusting relationships with students, employees, parents and guardians, and alums.

•       Innovate and develop new ways to forge community bonds at Castilleja and provide the emotional and academic support for members of the Castilleja community.


Bold Educational Leader with a Deep Passion for Girls’ Education

•       The next Head of Castilleja will join the school at a critical inflection point: with the construction of the reimagined campus underway, the desire to explore and clarify the strategic priorities, and a culture that leans towards innovation, the Head will lead the Board and the employees in discussions of the continued evolution of the school and its programs. The Head will partner with the faculty to review, refine, and strengthen the current program while setting and realizing future initiatives that will enhance the already exceptional school. Informed by research and with a keen focus on what Castilleja graduates need to learn to thrive, the Head will encourage bold questions, welcome discussions, and launch initiatives to continuously strengthen the educational experience for the students. The Head will be determined in their quest to create an environment and programs that support the social, emotional, and personal growth of the students. A voracious learner, coalition builder, and the lead advocate of a top-notch girls’ school, the Head will relish the opportunity to live, work in, and engage this growth-focused community.

Collaborative Leadership and Community Building

•       At a small school with meaningful, enduring relationships, the next Head will be a community-oriented leader who embraces, respects, and supports the school’s commitment to and reliance upon its tightly knit community. An empathetic, accessible leader, the Head will build rapport, trust, and genuine relationships with students, faculty, staff, parents and guardians, and alums. A visible presence in the community and life of the campus, the Head will relish the opportunity to walk the campus, attend classes, performances, and athletic events, and to get to know the students. In collaboration with colleagues, they will work to ensure that all students feel seen and known and a share a sense of belonging. They will champion the diversity of the school and ensure that Castilleja continues its intentional, deeply held commitment to equity, inclusion, anti-racism, and social justice. The Head will communicate with frequency and transparency, listen with compassion and curiosity, and understand that their daily actions reinforce the community’s values.

Organizational Stewardship

•       To accomplish the ambitious agenda at an ambitious school in the most innovative part of the country, Castilleja School’s next Head must be a sophisticated steward of institutional assets with strong business acumen, effective managerial skills, agility, and impeccable judgment. The Head will attract and retain top talent on the faculty and staff and will create an organizational structure and environment where people are empowered, supported, and held accountable. The next Head will understand the importance of aligning resources with aspirations and will set a strategic plan that is both ambitious and sustainable. In considering important issues, the leader will welcome debate, listen carefully to different perspectives, and be willing to make tough decisions as needed. As a passionate advocate for Castilleja, the next Head will engage community members in continuing to build institutional and philanthropic support to achieve its mission and will develop respectful partnerships with its neighbors. In all matters, the Head will shepherd the school in ways that enhance the experience of students at Castilleja.

•       Inspire, support, and drive impactful engagement on issues of social justice, equity, and inclusion including driving change in the organizational culture, systems, and practices.

•       Attract philanthropic support for the school’s ambitions, forge the relationships and have the storytelling skills needed to inspire donors and alums.

•       Steward the financial and physical assets wisely, making decisions always in the best interest of the institution.

•       Communicate exceptionally and listen well, with the ability to engage effectively with a wide range of constituents.

•       Bring resilience, stamina, and strength for the pressures of the role.


The Search Process

Castilleja School is being assisted by Spencer Stuart in the search process. The committee welcomes comments, questions, nominations, or expressions of interest.

Please send expressions of interest with any supporting materials to the following confidential email address:





Tagged as: High School, Middle School

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