Retirement announcement from
Head of School Patty L. Fagin, PhD
“Go on advancing, you are on the true road. Remember, it is not you who have taken it but God who has placed you there. Walk trustfully and may nothing in the world be able to dishearten you. Give your heart, once and for all, to love and trust.” -St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
Dear Stuart Community,
As I contemplate my eleven years as Stuart’s Head of School, it is this Madeleine Sophie Barat quote that has been my mantra. I believe that God places us where we are needed most and begs us to walk with Him in love and trust. In the fall of 2009, as I drove on to campus for the first time, I fell in love with this remarkable mid-century modern building. In short order, all those I met within these green brick walls only confirmed how blessed I would be to call Stuart my home.
However, the road to retirement is calling. I write today of my plans to step down from my role as your Head of School at the conclusion of the 2021-2022 school year. I have been so privileged to be the first lay Head of School and to have overseen the development and implementation of four strategic plans! Each has honored and advanced our mission to prepare girls for lives of exceptional leadership and service within the framework of the Goals and Criteria of the Sacred Heart. None of the successes propelled by these plans could have been realized without the incredible faculty, staff, administration, trustees and alumnae who have traveled this road with me. I am humbled by the support, expertise, commitment and philanthropy they provided.
So now, after thirty-three years of school leadership, a new road lies ahead -- one that leads to grandchildren, extended family and long-anticipated travel, with a wink at the old adage that “if you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.”
As Stuart begins the search for the next Head of School, the Board of Trustees has retained Carney Sandoe & Associates, one of the top search firms in the country with decades of independent school experience. Cheryl A. Lagay P'21, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Emily Firmenich P'23,'26, Chair of the Search Committee, will keep the community well-informed throughout the process. I am confident they will bring a very talented and dynamic pool of candidates to our campus.
Please know that my focus and dedication to my work at Stuart remains unwavering. It is with love and trust that I anticipate an exciting 2021-2022 school year opening with the kick-off of our newest Strategic Plan, which is focused on program innovation, diversity work, cultivation of faculty excellence and student empowerment. It will bridge my tenure with the new Head of School and make for a seamless transition into the future. We have developed a compelling vision and there is much to be done. I look forward to being very busy over the next year and a half!
Tim and I will greatly miss our Stuart family. When we drive away from all 55 acres of this beautiful campus, we will do so with love in our hearts for the lifelong friendships and kindness the Stuart community has given to us over the years.
Patty L. Fagin, Ph.D
Head of School
- What is the expected timeline of the search process?
- When will the new Head of School officially start?
- How much latitude will the new Head of School have in shaping Stuart’s’s future strategy and vision?
- What will Dr. Fagin’s role be throughout the search process and after the new Head of School is appointed?
- What is the Board's role?
- What is the Board’s search criteria in looking for a new Head of School?
- Will both internal and external candidates be considered for the role?
- How can someone participate in the process?
Head of School Search Committee
The Search Committee includes a diverse group of trustees, parents, alumnae, and members of the faculty and staff. The Head of School Search Committee will be primarily responsible for working with the search firm, obtaining input from the parents, alumnae, faculty, staff and the administration, developing an ideal candidate profile, assessing qualifications and suitability of prospective candidates and interviewing candidates. Our expectation is that this effort will result in the presentation of finalists to the school community in the fall of 2021.
Emily Firmenich P'23, '26, Chair
Trustee, Development Committee Chair, MS & US Parent
- Jennifer Dias ‘12 (Alumna)
- Kejing Embleton P’26 (MS Parent)
- Cheryl Lagay P’21 (Board Chair, US Parent )
- Jen Landis ‘90 P'23 (Trustee, RSCJ Provincial Appointee, Alumna, US Parent, Former Faculty)
- Bonnie Milecki P’28 (Director of National Center for Girls’ Leadership, MS Parent)
- Aileen O’Shea (LS Faculty, Past Parent)
- Lakshmi Pakalapati P’26,'29 (LS & MS Parent)
- Samantha Ryan P’28, '31 (US Faculty, LS Parent)
- Marisa Simon P’23 (US Parent)
- Josh Suggs P’32, '33, '35 (LS Parent)
- Paul Teti P’29, '30 (Trustee, LS Parent)
- Woodney Wachter P’31 (LS Parent)