Head of School Search

On January 11, 2021, Head of School Scott Nelson and the Board of Trustees announced the plan for his retirement at the end of the 2021-22 school year following 29 years of service to RCDS. Updates on the Head of School search will be shared here throughout the search process.

Patty Perez: September Head of School Search Update

Dear Members of the Rye Country Day School Community,

I write to provide an update regarding the Head of School search to identify Scott Nelson’s successor upon the conclusion of his tenure in June 2022.
The opportunity to lead RCDS has attracted an extremely strong pool of candidates. The search is moving on schedule, and the Search Committee has been active with two important tasks. First, the Committee received and reviewed the dossiers of 21 highly qualified candidates presented to us by our Educators’ Collaborative consultants, Deirdre Ling and John Mackenzie, following their thorough screening of a larger pool of candidates. After extensive discussion, the Committee invited 10 candidates for confidential in-person semi-finalist interviews, which took place this past Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

The Committee was enthused by the strength of the semi-finalist candidate pool, which included six experienced heads of independent schools, three senior administrators at schools of a caliber similar to RCDS, and one senior administrator in higher education. After the semi-finalist interviews, and further consideration of their credentials, the Committee has unanimously selected a smaller group of candidates to advance to the finalist stage and visit RCDS in the coming weeks.

Starting the week of September 13, each finalist will spend two days on campus, meeting with the Advisory Committee, administrators, employees, students, Parents Association leadership, and trustees in both small and large groups. There will also be open, in-person forums for parents/guardians and alumni to meet the finalists. Specific dates and times for the candidate visits and forums will be shared soon.

It will be apparent upon meeting them that each finalist has their own unique personal qualities and characteristics. They all, however, have the following in common: strong academic credentials, deep experience across multiple disciplines in well-regarded independent schools, and proven success as educational leaders.  

In the coming days, I will share details regarding the finalist visit schedules, and I hope you will be able to make time to meet them. Out of respect for privacy, the Search Committee will not release information about the identity of the candidates until shortly before their visits. Each member of the RCDS community who has contact with the finalists will have the opportunity to provide feedback via an online survey. The Committee will then carefully review the feedback and factor it into our final recommendation to the Board of Trustees, who is responsible for the final selection of the Head-elect. 

It is anticipated that the Board’s selection will be announced in the early fall. From there, the Head-elect will be scheduled to assume responsibilities on July 1, 2022, upon the conclusion of Scott Nelson’s distinguished tenure. We thank Mr. Nelson for his outstanding leadership, which has secured the School as a leader in the field and played an integral role in attracting such an excellent pool of candidates.  

Thank you for your continued engagement in this important process and for your continued commitment to Rye Country Day School. 


Patty Perez (Stronski) P’20, P’23, P’25, P’27
Head of School Search Committee Chair

Communication Archive

Leadership Qualities

 The Future Leadership section of the RCDS Head of School position prospectus, which sets out the qualities we seek in our next Head of School, can be viewed here.
For more information on how the prospectus was developed, please read the June 10, 2021 update linked above.

Meet the Search Committee

The Search Committee, chaired by Ms. Patty Perez, includes eleven other trustees. A top priority in the selection of the Committee was that its membership reflect a cross section of our school community. 

Committee members include: 

Andrew Adams

P'31, P'34

Tom Davidson

P'27, P'32

Sarah Dodds-Brown '91

P'25, P'28, P'31

Amy Chen Fisch

P'27, P'28

Leigh Dyson Geller

P'20, P'22, P'25

Alison Hinds-Pearl


Rosa Hyun Perkins

P'26, P'28
Parents Association President

Fernando Rivas

P'24, P'25

Cindy Ganis Roskind, M.D. '90

P'21, P'23

Patty Perez (Stronski)

P'20, P'23, P'25, P'27

Elizabeth Shah-Hosseini

P'26, P'32

Andrew Wallach

P'24, P'27


Do you have a question that is not answered here? Feel free to email headsearch@ryecountryday.org to reach out to the Search Committee.