Head of School Search
We are thrilled to announce that Juna Kim McDaid has been named our next Head of School.
After a thorough and thoughtful search, the Board of Trustees and Search Committee are proud to announce that Juna Kim McDaid will join The San Francisco School as its fourth Head of School, beginning July 2023. Thank you to all the students, families, staff, and extended community members for your participation in this process.
An Announcement from Ali Gass, SFS Parent and Chair of the Board of Trustees
Dear SFS Community,
It is with great pleasure that I announce that on October 6, the SFS Board of Trustees voted to appoint Juna Kim McDaid as our next Head of School, and that she has since accepted, effective July 2023. The Board and I are confident that Juna has the leadership skills and vision to bring together and engage the community in the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for SFS.
Juna’s career in education started over 25 years ago. After graduating from Boston College’s Graduate School of Education, she taught English in a Boston suburban public high school. She then taught in independent schools outside of Boston as well as in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. As Chair of the English Department and Dean of Faculty at the Drew School in San Francisco, she first became aware of the unique qualities of SFS through its staff and alums. Taking on a more administrative role, Juna then served as Sonoma Country Day School’s Middle School Division Head. Currently, she is The Potomac School’s Assistant Head of School for Academics, where she oversees the K-12 academic program and institutional DEI initiatives.
We believe that Juna will be a strong steward of our values and an excellent leader as we embark upon the next stage of our history. She has proven depth in K-12 academic pedagogy, DEIJ programs, and staff development. Juna has been a collaborative, transparent, and systems-oriented administrator and leader with high EQ and strong communications skills. These skills were apparent when she visited campus, and they were reinforced by her references who confirmed her integrity, close connection to faculty and staff, and learner’s disposition. She brings intentional and empathetic leadership, transparency, a strong work ethic, positive energy, and a commitment to ensuring that students remain at the center of everything we do. Most importantly, we see strong mission alignment and the continued growth of SFS with Juna as the Head.
We were extremely fortunate to have had very strong interest in the Head of School position. In the Spring 2022, the Head of School Search Committee was formed and, in partnership with our consultants from RG175, immediately solicited broad input from all of the community stakeholders. From an impressive pool of global applicants, the committee chose three finalists to interview on campus in late September. Each candidate met with students, staff, and families in multiple events from campus tours, Community Cafes, roundtable lunches, in-person town halls, and virtual meetings. I am grateful not only to the dedicated members of the Search Committee for their tireless efforts but also to all the community members who welcomed the candidates and provided feedback to the committee so that a well-informed and thoughtful decision could be made by the Board of Trustees.
While we will be sad to say farewell to Steve Morris as our Head of School at the end of this school year, we are indebted to him for his service to SFS. We intend to celebrate his contributions to SFS and we are comforted that he will remain a part of our community as a parent to a current student and two alumni.
To ensure a smooth transition, we will soon appoint a Transition Committee to start the process more meaningfully and guide it through the end of the year. Just as we relied on the entire community in the search, we invite you to be involved in the transition and will keep you informed of opportunities to meet with Juna in the months ahead.
Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Juna Kim McDaid as The San Francisco School’s next Head of School.
On behalf of the SFS Board of Trustees,
Ali Gass, Chair and Parent (6th and 8th Grade)
The Head of School Search Committee
Baljeet Singh, Trustee, Parent (1st and 5th Grade)
David Whitelaw, Vice Chair of the Board, Parent (4th and 6th Grade)
Jalen Allen ’08 (Staff)
Thea Anderson ’90, Trustee, Parent (5th Grade)
Cassandra Dixon, Parent (PS4 and 2nd Grade)
Ali Gass, Trustee, Parent (6th and 8th Grade)
James Harding (Staff)
Carly Reiter (Staff)
Rudy Reyes, Parent (6th Grade)
|March 16, 2022. An Announcement from Head of School Steve Morris|
Dear SFS Community,
It feels surreal that the moment has arrived for me to write this letter.
Serving as the Head of The San Francisco School has been an incredible privilege as well as a source of great professional pride and joy. Fourteen years ago, the SFS Board of Trustees entrusted the responsibility of leading this school to me, then a relatively young and inexperienced middle school administrator. Since that time, we have accomplished so much – beyond what I would have ever imagined. It is an excellent time for SFS to enter its next phase. With this in mind, the 2022-23 school year will be my last as Head of The San Francisco School.
I am so proud of what we have accomplished. We have undergone two re-accreditations with the attendant introspective processes that they demanded. We executed A Broad and Adventurous Look at the Future: Strategic Plan 2007-2012 which culminated in the Community at the Center campaign; this led to the construction of the Community Center and a significant expansion of our program and campus facilities. (I believe the SFS campus is one of a kind among PS-8th schools in San Francisco with its incredible indoor and outdoor spaces). Presently, we are concluding Fulfilling Our Humanitarian Promise, Strategic Plan 2017-2022. Not only have we endured a worldwide pandemic, but we have actualized many of our strategic initiatives despite it. During that time, Forge Our Future: The Campaign for SFS was a resounding success, more than doubling our endowment and advancing our STEAM program and spaces. We have continued to nurture a school culture that values diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Most recently, the Board of Trustees has been introspectively examining our Board practices and committee work through an anti-racist lens. We have built an “all in” staff of dedicated teachers as well as administrators, including the creation of new positions that reflect the direction of the school.
This is an ideal time for a transition to new leadership . In the spring of 2023, we will begin our next re-accreditation process. Consequently, we will prioritize the goals of the School and create a new strategic plan in the following years. I arrived at SFS at a similar moment in time, and though an accreditation was a daunting process as an inexperienced Head in his second year, it was an invaluable experience and opportunity to charter the direction of the school and launch the changes I thought most important.
My tenure at SFS has been deeply gratifying, and I am excited to start considering my next step. The field of recruitment and placement of educators in independent schools is of particular interest to me, specifically with a focus on bringing more people of color into educational leadership. Throughout my career, I have been proud to mentor a diverse group of educators and administrators at SFS, in California, and nationally.
The success of our school over the past fourteen years is due to the collective effort and generosity of our community. I am so grateful for the partnerships I have had with each board chair, the trustees, the staff, and the parents/guardians. Together, we rallied around our belief in our Mission and we made each other better humans and our school a better institution. I have learned so much from our SFS students. What a privilege to witness a generation of kids who enjoy learning for learning’s sake, work hard to practice respect for one another, and become their own best advocates — while never forgetting the importance of play!
Lastly, I am forever indebted to my wife, Beth, and our three children for their support and sacrifices over the years (my oldest began preschool in 2008!). Their good humor, patience, and encouragement have sustained me and served the school as well. I can’t wait to have more time with them, and though I will miss being the Head of The San Francisco School, I am comforted knowing that our family will continue to be active members of the community.
For the next fifteen months, my sleeves will stay rolled up, and my commitment to the success of SFS will remain steadfast. Thank you for your partnership and belief in me - my gratitude is beyond words.
|March 16, 2022. A Message from Snuller Price, SFS Parent and Chair of the Board of Trustees|
Dear Staff and Fellow Parents/Guardians,
As a member of this community, I want to be among the first to express gratitude for Steve’s fourteen-year tenure as the Head of School. Working with him closely through the last two years, I know that he brings 100% of his focus and vision to SFS every day, and his efforts have made this school the institution that we love and appreciate. As the face and voice that has welcomed so many of us to SFS — from our first admissions open house to the most recent All School Meeting — it feels hard to imagine this community without him and his extraordinarily capable leadership.
And yet, as we lament the conclusion of Steve’s time at the helm of The San Francisco School, we also welcome the opportunity to bring a new leader to the head of our community, to help us continue to move the school forward while holding fast to our mission. It is healthy for an institution to grow and change beyond a great leader and continue to evolve. Due to Steve’s successful tenure, The San Francisco School is in great shape. We have a talented staff and administration team, steady finances, a strong mission, and a wonderful community to see us through this transition.
The Board of Trustees has the responsibility of hiring and supporting the next Head of School, and we have begun the process by forming a Transition Team which is focused on putting in place an intentional, transparent, and inclusive process to select our next Head of School. The Transition Team is initially comprised of this year’s and next year’s nominated SFS Board leadership; Snuller Price, Chair; Libby Reder, Vice Chair; Alison Gass, Nominated Chair ’22-’23; and David Whitelaw, Nominated Vice Chair ’22-’23. We’ll be updating you all in the coming weeks as we build a full team and structure to manage the transition process.
The Transition Team’s next steps this spring include establishing a search committee, hiring a search firm, and circulating the job opportunity broadly. As part of the process, we will be reaching out to the whole community including trustees, parenting adults from the school community, and staff, to help determine hiring priorities. By working through the spring and summer, our goal is to be able to have a shortlist of final candidates in fall of 2022 before we transition to a new Head of School starting in July 2023.
In the coming weeks, we will be sharing more details to keep everyone informed about the process and opportunities to provide input. Ultimately, the quality of our school and community, advanced with Steve’s leadership, gives me confidence we will be able to attract top candidates for the Head of School role.
In the meantime, I ask everyone to join me in thanking Steve for his long tenure, his deep commitment, and for putting us in a great position to manage the transition ahead.
Very truly yours,
Snuller Price, Chair of the Board of Trustees