Dear Rivers Community:
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are excited to provide some details about transition planning for incoming Head of School Ryan Dahlem, who will be joining The Rivers School as our ninth head on July 1, 2023. This is an exciting time for everyone in our school community, and we look forward to welcoming Ryan for two campus visits in early February and late March.
The goals of these visits are simply to allow us to get to know Ryan better and allow him to get to know Rivers and the members of our community better. The first visit on February 2 and 3 will focus on our “campus community” (students, faculty, deans, and staff) and trustees. The second visit on March 28 and 29 will focus on the broader school community (alumni, parents, past parents, and prospective parents).
Some highlights of Ryan’s February visit will include Upper School and Middle School class visits, Upper School assembly, and meetings with faculty, staff, deans, and department chairs. Additional information will follow about the March visits soon.
By way of background, in late October, the Board of Trustees appointed a Head’s Transition and Support Committee (HTSC) consisting of three trustees and three administrators:
–Sheila Hiatt P’21, ’22, ’24, Trustee and HTSC Chair
–Andy Delinsky ’93, Trustee (Head of School, The Peck School, Morristown, NJ)
–Alan D. Rose, Jr. ’87, President, Board of Trustees
–Melissa Anderson P’25, ’25, Head of the Upper School
–John Bower, Head of the Middle School
–Krissie Kelleher P’22, ’25, Associate Head of School for External Relations
The HTSC has reviewed materials from our consultants on successful transition planning for heads of school and has set up a transition portal for Ryan that provides information on Rivers and the community. In addition, Head of School Ned Parsons has provided Ryan with detailed operational reports prepared by his senior administrative team. We have also provided Ryan with some historical information about Rivers. Over the past five weeks, the HTSC has met with Ryan twice over Zoom to work on transition planning, and will meet with Ryan again in mid-February and late March. Ryan is now in weekly communication with Ned Parsons and regular communication with me as we move toward his July 1 start date. In addition, as you know from Ned’s recent announcement, Ryan was directly involved in hiring Jenny Jun-lei Kravitz, our new director of DEI. Overall, we are working hard to strike a balance that allows Ryan to hit the ground running on July 1 while respecting his current duties at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School.
We are excited to welcome Ryan back to campus and look forward to a successful leadership transition for Rivers. Please join me in offering Ryan a very warm welcome back to campus.
Alan D. Rose, Jr. ’87
Board of Trustees