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  • Head of School Search

Welcome

Welcome to The Rivers School’s head of school search page. Here, you can stay informed about the status of the search for our school’s next leader, learn about the search committee and the firm supporting the search process, and find answers to frequently asked questions. Please continue to visit this page for updates on the committee’s process and progress. We appreciate your support of this critical endeavor and your continued engagement with Rivers and its future.

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What firm is supporting the search process?

    The Board of Trustees has engaged Resource Group 175 (RG175) to partner with The Rivers School on our head of school search. RG175 Senior Consultant Tom Olverson and Managing Partner John Farber will facilitate and support the process of identifying the very best individual to lead Rivers through its next chapter. Tom and John bring a thorough knowledge of the independent school landscape in the Boston area, and we were particularly drawn to the more transparent process they use. We are also confident that Tom Olverson, having served as Head of School at Rivers from 1997-2014, will bring a unique and invaluable depth of perspective to the search.
  • What is the timeline for the search?

    The current plan is to be able to identify a candidate and make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees by October 2022. The new head will assume responsibility on July 1, 2023.
  • What is the role of the Board of Trustees in the search?

    The Board is ultimately responsible for selecting the head of school. The task of conducting the search will be undertaken by a board-designated Search Committee, assisted by advisory committees comprising faculty, alumni, and parents.
  • How were Search Committee members selected?

    Search Committee members have a deep commitment to Rivers and a firm grasp of the school’s history, mission, and approach. They represent a diversity of viewpoints and experience, but they all share a love of the school and a strong desire to help steer the school through this exciting transition.
  • What is the role of the Search Committee?

    Initially, the Search Committee is charged with defining the qualities required of the next head of school. As the process moves forward, they will review candidate files, interview the most viable candidates, speak with multiple references, and make a final recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
  • How will the Search Committee keep the community updated?

    While much of the search process must be kept confidential, we are also committed to transparency and candor. The community will be kept updated through this website, as well as through periodic direct communications from the Board and the Search Committee.
  • How can I help during the search?

    Broad community input will be critical to facilitating a successful leadership transition. All community members will have an opportunity to complete an online survey, and we will be providing forums for faculty, staff, and parents to meet with finalist candidates later in the process. Here are some other ways in which community members can help:
    • Please make sure our search consultants are aware of any individuals whom you would recommend as potentially strong candidates. Please note that in addition to providing the search committee with valuable perspective, the survey also allows for you to suggest potential candidates.
    • Please bring any rumors or speculation directly to the Search Committee to minimize the spreading of any inaccurate information.  
    • Finally, please read carefully any communications from the Search Committee.

Search Committee

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  • Harley Lank P’21, President of the Board

    Harley is a portfolio manager and president of the High Income & Alternatives division of Fidelity Investments. Harley joined the Rivers board in 2017 and has served as president of the Board since 2018. He and his wife have three children, including a son who graduated from Rivers last year, and live in Weston.
  • Alan Rose ’87, Search Committee Chair

    Alan co-founded Rose Law Partners (then Rose & Associates) in 1995. Alan’s practice focuses on civil and criminal trial and appellate litigation in federal and state courts and in arbitration, with an emphasis on commercial litigation, employment litigation, defense of state and federal government and regulatory investigations, and college and university law. Alan served on the Rivers board from 2007 to 2021 and has been an active member of the Alumni Association. He lives in Weston with his wife and two sons.
  • Louise Cummings ’98, Trustee

    Louise is an attorney and community advocate. She has been active in the Alumni Association, has chaired the alumni annual fund, and served on the Enrollment Management, Marketing, and Diversity Committee before joining the Board in 2009. She was Rivers’s first board member from outside the greater Boston area. Louise lives in Delaware with her daughter.
  • Andrea Diaz, Faculty

    History department chair Andrea Diaz joined the Upper School at Rivers in 2010. Andrea teaches world history, US history, and electives in international relations. She also serves as Upper School DEI coordinator. Additionally, Andrea is the assistant coach for the girls’ varsity cross-country team and is a member of the diversity committee. She lives in Natick with her husband and two young children.
  • Sheila Hiatt P’21, ’22, ’24, Trustee

    Sheila is a co-founder and managing partner of Hiatt & Hoke LLP and oversees all of its practice areas. Additionally, she is responsible for managing the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the firm. Sheila joined the Rivers board in 2019 and serves as a trustee at Dedham Country Day School, where she was president of the Board from 2014 to 2017. Sheila and her husband live in Milton and have three children, two of whom are currently attending Rivers.
  • Krissie Kelleher P’22, ’25, Administrative Faculty

    Krissie serves as associate head of school for development and external relations at Rivers. She started her development career in the Harvard College Fund office before moving to Loomis Chaffee, where she was an integral part of the development team. At Rivers, she oversees a 12-member department responsible for all fundraising, alumni affairs, communications, and external relations. She and her husband live in Wayland and are the parents of two current Rivers students.
  • Ken Stillwell P’23, ’24, Trustee

    Ken is chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Pegasystems, the Cambridge-based provider of business software based. At Pega, he is responsible for finance, investor relations, legal, facilities, information technology, Pega Cloud, global client support, and business operations. Ken has more than 25 years of financial leadership experience in high-growth organizations in the technology sector. Ken lives in Southborough with his wife and two children, both Rivers students, and has been a board member since 2021.
  • Samantha Vandergrift, Faculty

    Sam teaches Middle School math at Rivers; she is also the seventh-grade dean and coaches MS cross country and softball. In 2016, she received the Mida Van Zuylen Dunn Award for Teaching, given yearly at Rivers to teachers who instill in students a love for learning. Sam lives in Natick with her husband and two young children.
  • Peter Walter P’23, ’25, Trustee

    Peter co-founded Trident Capital Group in 2008 to acquire, manage, and redevelop industrial properties in primary and select secondary markets. Previously, he was an advisor and investor with Talisman Capital Partners, a Dublin, Ohio, private equity firm. Peter joined the Rivers board in 2019 and serves as chair of the Development Committee. He is also a member of the board of Tenacre Country Day School and lives in Wellesley with his wife and four children.