Introducing Our Next Head of School

The Stratford Hall Board of Governors is delighted to announce that Richard Kassissieh will be the next Head of School as of August 2022.
Richard is currently Assistant Head of School for Academics and Strategic Initiatives at University Preparatory Academy in Seattle, Washington. He has 20 years of leadership experience in independent schools and, prior to that, spent eight years teaching chemistry and biology at schools in the United States and Botswana.
 
Richard has outstanding academic credentials. His undergraduate degree is in Biological Anthropology from Harvard University, and he holds a Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Teacher Education from Stanford University. Richard is also globally minded with a strong commitment to social justice values: he has volunteered with Amnesty International, taught in a school in Botswana that he continues to support, and has been an advocate for the rights of LGBTQ+ educators since the 1990s. On a personal level, Richard is the son of immigrants from the Middle East. He has a great love of the outdoors, as experienced through running, backcountry hiking, photography, yard work, and more. He speaks both English and French. Richard will be moving to Vancouver with his wife, Julia, who is also an educator.
 
Thanks to the challenging and comprehensive selection process designed by the Board’s Search Committee (with the invaluable support of the executive search firm Perrett Laver), Stratford Hall received more than 70 applications for this position. Following a series of in-depth interviews via video conference with nine long-list candidates, the Search Committee invited four final candidates to Stratford Hall last term where they met with faculty representatives, the school’s founders, and Stratford Hall’s Senior Leadership team. Individual written feedback was provided to the Search Committee by all participants. The Board of Governors also met with all the candidates for an extended, in-depth interview wherein we probed their leadership abilities, relevant experience, vision, personal traits and skills. 
 
In making our decision, the Board also relied heavily on the survey information we received from you, our community, over the summer to identify priorities and the qualities you want to see in the next Head of School. Our community is wonderfully diverse and had so many varied and thoughtful things to say -- but one thing stood out because it was repeated over and over and over:  above all else, we were asked to find someone who values our unique Stratford Hall community and who will be dedicated to strengthening it in the years to come. 
 
At the end of this thorough selection process, Richard stood out as the ideal candidate to lead Stratford Hall confidently into the future. We believe he has the vision, passion, experience, and skills to lead us forward – and also that he will truly “get” Stratford Hall and fall in love with the school and its incredible community, just as we all have. The Board was delighted to offer Richard the position and we are very excited to welcome him as our next Head of School! We know that you will all join us in welcoming him when he arrives in Vancouver in August. We will be in touch as the date approaches to share additional opportunities for you to meet and get to know Richard.
 
Richard is equally excited to be joining our community and couldn’t wait to say hello to all of you.

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