Head of School Search

Introducing Katherine Dinh



Meet Lila Lohr

Lila Lohr Appointed Interim Head of School for 2018-19

Dear MCDS Community,

The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Lila Boyce Lohr as our Interim Head of School for the 2018-19 school year. Lila brings with her a wealth of experience reflecting a long and distinguished career in independent schools as a teacher, administrator, Head of School and Interim Head of School.

MCDS will be the eighth school at which Lila has served as Interim Head. She is very familiar with San Francisco Bay Area independent schools, having served twice in an interim capacity here. Lila has earned a reputation for working diligently to understand and embrace the culture and community of each school where she has worked and for working in close conjunction with the incoming new head of school.

Lila is currently the Interim Head of School at her alma mater, the Garrison Forest School. Previously she was Interim Head at Friends School of Baltimore (2002-2005), Princeton Day School (2007-08), Indian Creek School (2010-11), Katherine Delmar Burke School (2011-12), St. Paul's School for Girls (2012-13) and Town School for Boys (2016-17). Prior to that, Lila had a 15-year teaching and administrative career at The Bryn Mawr School before serving as Headmistress at the St. Paul's School for Girls (1986-95) and as the first female Head of School at Princeton Day School (1995-2000).

The search committee and Board of Trustees were struck by Lila's experience as an educator and her national reputation as an expert in bridging the gap between Heads of School. Lila approaches her role in a way that her time on campus will be interim only for her. She is firm in her belief that the MCDS community deserves nothing less than the fullest experience during her coming year on campus. Lila writes, "My husband and I are very excited about joining the wonderful MCDS community next year. I look forward to spending my days nurtured by your beautiful campus, working in partnership with families and teachers who foster a love of learning and a commitment to bringing out the best in each MCDS student."

During the Head of School search process, it became clear that MCDS might need someone to serve in an Interim capacity so the search committee ran a parallel process to identify candidates. Following discussions with our search consultants, Carney Sandoe, and conversations with other schools that had walked the same path, Lila's name rose to the top of our list. We are confident that her experience coupled with her leadership style will continue to purposely move our community forward through a productive and smooth transition next year. Lila's shared commitment to our mission is supported by her expertise, wisdom and warmth.

Lila is married to Bobby Ittmann and has three children, three stepchildren and five grandchildren. Please join us in welcoming Lila and Bobby to the MCDS community as of July 1, 2018.

With warm regards,


Andy Nakahata
Chair, Board of Trustees



MCDS Announces New Head of School

November 21, 2017

Dear MCDS Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I write to share, with great enthusiasm, the appointment of Katherine Dinh as Head of School of Marin Country Day School effective July 1, 2019. Katherine was the unanimous recommendation of the Search Committee after an extensive, global search process, and the Board of Trustees unanimously approved that recommendation. We are immeasurably excited about Katherine and her son, Henry, joining the MCDS community.

Katherine brings over 20 years of experience as an educator, compassionate leader and focused community builder whose strengths and values clearly align with our own tenets of respect, responsibility and compassion. In making this appointment, we strongly believe that Katherine is a leader who will continue to help unify our community in working together and realizing our shared vision and values.

For the past 11 years, Katherine has served as Head of School at Prospect Sierra School, an independent K-8 school just across the bay from MCDS in El Cerrito, California. Katherine is also the past Board Chair of the National Association of Independent Schools and currently serves as Chair of the Harvard University School of Education Advisory Board, Vice Chair of the California Teacher Development Collaborative and trustee of neighboring Marin Montessori School, where her son is a current 8th grader.

There are several aspects of Katherine as an educator and a person that make her an excellent leader for the future of MCDS:

  • Her passion for teaching and the breadth and depth of her experience having started her career as a classroom teacher, to founding a temporary school in Houston for families and staff displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, to leading independent schools as Division Head and Head of School overseeing curriculum development, staff management and mentoring, business operations and fundraising.
  • Her strong sense of community and the purposeful effort required to create a strong, vibrant and thoughtful community.
  • Her thoughtful, compassionate, and collaborative approach to problem solving and decision making.
  • Her child-centric orientation and focus on the importance of joy in schools.
  • The strength and resiliency that she has demonstrated in working through challenging situations, while continuing to look forward and keep an optimistic outlook.

We look forward to sharing more information about Katherine, and our next steps to prepare for her 2019 arrival, in the weeks to come. In the meantime, we are delighted to welcome Katherine and Henry to the MCDS community.

With warm regards,


Andy Nakahata
Chair, Board of Trustees



Read Katherine's Letter to the MCDS Community

Dear MCDS Families and Friends,

It is my profound honor to be chosen as the next head of Marin Country Day School, to begin July 1, 2019. In its 61 year history, MCDS has grown into one of the most widely respected and vibrant schools in the Bay Area and nationally, with a clear emphasis on inspiring, challenging, and nurturing young people to be their best selves and to make a difference in this diverse and complex world. I feel incredibly humbled and privileged to be leading the school into the next chapter of its great history.

Although I had known about MCDS prior to my arrival in the Bay Area 11 years ago, I truly became a fan as I developed more and more knowledge about this wonderful school. As a Marin County resident, hearing through friends and peers about the incredible education that children receive at MCDS, and as a local head of school seeing firsthand how thoughtful the academic programs are, I knew that should an opportunity arise at MCDS, I would want to explore its potential fit for me.

It became immediately clear to me through the search process that I would jump at the opportunity to be the next head of school. My experience with everyone I’ve met in the MCDS community has strengthened my already high opinion of the school. The warmth, intelligence, commitment to diversity, focus on academic and social-emotional well-being of students, and strong values of compassion and respect rang through clearly in my conversations with everyone I met in the search process. Those meetings, coupled with my experiences through a decade of interactions with MCDS parents, students, faculty, staff, administration, and trustees, cemented the notion that this is a school that I would be very lucky to be asked to join. I am beyond thrilled that I have been extended this chance to lead such a vibrant, healthy, and joyful school.

At the end of the 2018-19 year, I will have finished 12 years as the head of Prospect Sierra School in El Cerrito, CA. I am immensely proud of the journey I have had there with the support and shared leadership of an amazing team of faculty, staff, and admin, and a highly strategic board. While I cherish my experiences and the many dear friends I have made there, I also believe that change is good and I’m very excited about the opportunities in store. I want to thank all of you in advance for welcoming me and my son Henry, who shares my enthusiasm and joy for finding our new home at MCDS. I look forward to meeting all of you soon, and wish you and yours a very happy holiday season.

Warmly,

Katherine Dinh



More About the Head Search

Head Search Committee

Head of School Search Committee Members

Trustees:

Holly Hagens, Co-Chair

Jumee Park, Co-Chair

Tad Buchanan

Pete Chung

Alison Garrett

Rashmi Marya

Jon Murchinson

Andy Nakahata

Faculty/Staff:

Karin Soriano-Bilal (2nd grade teacher)

Noah Cho (7th & 8th grade English teacher and 8th Grade Dean)

Barbara Kraemer-Cook (Upper School Division Head)