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Head of School Search


October 27, 2021: Message from Duncan Lyon, Head of School



October 27, 2021

Dear Carey Community,    

I am writing to share the news that I have accepted the headship of The Allen-Stevenson School in New York City as of July 1, 2022. My love for Carey made this an extremely difficult decision, but the current health of the school provides an opportune time for this move.

When I came to Carey, I said I was attracted to the school Carey was and to the school it could become. Now, more than a decade later, I am full of pride for the school Carey is today as well as for the school’s future. Thanks to a strong board of trustees, outstanding colleagues, supportive families, we all can see, hear, and feel the multitude of ways Carey students are thriving.

My hope is to personally thank everyone reading this letter since the school’s success stems from a constellation of individuals working to the collective end of making Carey the finest school of its kind. I am hopeful that the remainder of the school year will allow me to show my appreciation to each of you.

With the bulk of the school year ahead of us, my hope is that the leadership transition will play in the background and that the student experience remains front and center for all of us. I want to assure the community of my intention to run across the finish line. At the same time, I will savor the months that lie ahead since leading Carey has been the greatest professional privilege I have known.

Given the qualities of our board and administrative team, I am confident this leadership transition will be characterized by continuity and perhaps even propel the school forward still. I will do my part to ensure that is the case.


Duncan Lyon

Head of School

October 27, 2021: Message from Jennifer Chung, Board Chair




October 27, 2021

Dear Carey School Community,

As you heard from Duncan in his letter, he has accepted a position as Head of School at The Allen-Stevenson School in New York City. Duncan will remain at Carey in his current role until the end of this academic year. While we are saddened by the news, we are also proud of what he has accomplished at Carey over the last decade and excited to see his exceptional leadership in action at The Allen-Stevenson School. We are also grateful for the steadfast support of Veronica, Ally, and Linnea throughout his time at Carey. 

In July 2011, Duncan stepped onto a Carey campus that looked very different than it does today. He had big plans for our little school, and ushered in a forward-thinking perspective backed by a deep knowledge of education and solid footing in the independent school landscape.

He revitalized our campus through two capital campaigns and optimized our outdoor spaces. Duncan translated his understanding of child learning and development into our programming – opening a Thinkering Lab to fuel creativity and problem-solving, integrating SEL from top to bottom, building a first class Student Support Team, and prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in both the curriculum and student experience. He shepherded two strategic plans and established the mission statement that we continue to live by today. 

As a steady and visionary leader, Duncan has brilliantly balanced long-term goals with being truly present day to day. An early image for many families on their first day at Carey is Duncan, in his Carey jacket with a welcoming smile and reassuring wave to each parent, helping children out of the car at drop off. And families quickly realize that this early morning greeting is part of every day through their journey at Carey. He mentors the fifth graders through a lively debate class. He is often side-by-side with our parent volunteers moving tables and cleaning up after a campus social event. And during several rounds of campus improvements, he could be seen in a hard hat every day, managing each detail to ensure we had safe and beautiful spaces for our Carey community.

In many ways, his presence and care in every facet of the Carey experience encapsulates the unique culture fostered by Duncan during his tenure here. We are more than a school, we are a community that loves and looks out for each other. 

We are fortunate to be in a time of stability and strength at Carey, which puts us in a position to attract great leadership. Duncan will remain as our Head of School until June 30, 2022. The search for a Head of School is not to be taken lightly or rushed – we will solicit feedback from our whole community, create a clear and focused position statement, and conduct a robust national search, which will likely continue into the next school year.

We have met with several search firms that focus on national Head of School searches and will establish a search committee in the coming weeks. Since our search will likely extend beyond this school year, the board has appointed Neely Norris, our current Assistant Head of School, to serve as Interim Head of School for the 2022 – 2023 academic year. She has already mapped out a plan to partner with Duncan this year and is prepared to bring continuity and strong momentum to our strategic initiatives as she takes on this interim role next year.

Our plan is to share frequent and transparent updates with you, and we will be launching a Head of School Search section on the Carey website with a timeline and regular updates. We look forward to partnering with all of you to get your input as we embark on this next chapter for Carey. 


Jennifer Chung

President, Board of Trustees

January 7, 2022: Search Committee Announced




January 7, 2022

Dear Carey School Community,

This letter provides an update regarding our progress toward hiring our next Head of School, following the earlier announcement of Duncan Lyon’s departure in June 2022. The Board of Trustees is entrusted with leading the search for a new Head of School, a process intended to be as transparent and open as possible to ensure success.

The Board of Trustees has engaged the services of RG175, an internationally recognized search firm specializing in independent schools, to guide us through this process. Cathy Hunter and John Green, RG175’s two consultants working with The Carey School, are both former heads of schools themselves and together they bring extensive independent school leadership experience. We look forward to introducing Cathy and John to our school community in the coming months.

We are honored to announce the Search Committee whose members include current and former trustees with diverse backgrounds and experiences. The Search Committee includes:

• Jennifer Chung - Trustee and Board Chair; Current 5th grade parent

• Claudia Dierkes-Banks – Trustee; Current 4th grade parent

• Jason Kwok – Trustee; Current 3rd grade and 5th grade parent

• La Vina Lowery – Trustee; Menlo School Middle School Director

• Mark Moore – Former Trustee; Former Carey Board Chair; Alumni parent

• Lindsay Ramsay - Trustee and Board VP; Current Kindergarten, 2nd grade and 3rd grade parent

• Kelly Sortino – Former Trustee; Current 1st grade parent, Crystal Springs Uplands School Head of School

We appreciate their willingness to serve in this capacity and we thank them in advance for their time and thoughtful contributions on behalf of the school.

We are committed to as transparent, inclusive and collaborative a search process as possible and will communicate regularly. We will post all updates on The Carey School’s Head of School webpage and feel free to email us at with any questions or concerns. We thank you all in advance for your input and support.



Jennifer Chung                      Lindsay Ramsay

Co-Chair,                                        Co-Chair,

Search Committee                         Search Committee

March 7, 2022: Head of School Search Timeline


March 7, 2022

Dear Carey School Community,

We wanted to share an update on our search for Carey’s next Head of School and the overall timeline for the search.

Our current focus is to develop a Position Statement for the Head of School role, which will serve as the primary tool in describing the Head of School position to all potential candidates. On February 15th, as part of the data gathering process to create the Position Statement, the Carey community was invited to complete an online survey to share their perspectives on Carey’s long-term success and ideal professional experiences and personal qualities for our next Head of School. In addition, our search consultants have conducted interviews and focus groups with many constituencies, including faculty, staff and administration, the Little Carey team, OneCarey, CSPA leadership and committee chairs, 4th and 5th grade students, and trustees. 

Based on findings from the survey and interviews, the Search Committee and consultants will solidify the Position Statement, which will be shared nationally and internationally to recruit the best possible pool of candidates.

Below is the projected timing for our search. We will continue to share updates as the search progresses:

October 27, 2021: Head of School Duncan Lyon announces his plan to leave at the end of the 2021 – 22 academic year

November – January 2021: Search consultants selected (Cathy Hunter and John Green from RG175). Search Committee announced

February – March 2022: Head of School Search Survey, focus groups, and interviews conducted to inform the Position Statement

Early March 2022: Position Statement completed and disseminated

March – April 2022: Candidate recruitment

Early May 2022: Search Committee selects and interviews semi-finalists; 3 – 4 finalists will be selected

June – August 2022: Ongoing engagement with finalists

September 2022: Faculty, administration, staff, parents/caregivers, trustees meet with finalists and provide feedback on each candidate.

October 2022: Search committee makes recommendation to the Board; Board of Trustees selects and announces the next Head of School

Late October 2022: New Head of School announcement

July 2023: New Head of School begins


We will post all updates on The Carey School’s Head of School webpage and feel free to email us at with any questions or concerns. We thank you all in advance for your input and support.




Jennifer Chung                      Lindsay Ramsay

Co-Chair,                                        Co-Chair,

Search Committee                         Search Committee

March 12, 2022: Carey HOS Position Statement



May 4, 2022: HOS Search Update


Dear Carey School Community,

We wanted to share an update on our search for Carey’s next Head of School. The last two months have been spent recruiting candidates and evaluating applications. There has been strong interest in the Head of School position, with applicants from the Bay Area, across the country, and several international candidates.

This past week, the search committee narrowed down the applicant pool to seven semi-finalists. These candidates met with the committee on Friday and Saturday in a series of two-hour interviews. 

The search committee will narrow this group down to a smaller group of finalists, which the broader Carey community will be invited to meet and interact with on campus. We will be sharing dates and schedules for those events as soon as we solidify timing.

We will post all updates on The Carey School’s Head of School webpage and feel free to email us at with any questions or concerns. We thank you all in advance for your input and support.




Jennifer Chung                      Lindsay Ramsay

Co-Chair,                                        Co-Chair,

Search Committee                         Search Committee

May 20, 2022: HOS Search Update

Dear Carey School Community,

After interviewing our seven semi-finalists on May 6th and 7th, the search committee has selected a group of finalists for the Head of School role. We are excited to have the Carey community meet each of these candidates in the fall.

We plan to have each finalist come to campus for a 2 ½ day visit, sometime in late September or early October. We will send a schedule with dates as we get closer to the fall. We look forward to moving into this next phase of the Head of School search process.

We will continue to post all updates on The Carey School’s Head of School webpage and feel free to email us at with any questions or concerns. We thank you all in advance for your input and support.



Jennifer Chung                     Lindsay Ramsay

Co-Chair,                                       Co-Chair,

Search Committee                        Search Committee