The Lexington Montessori School Board of Directors, in cooperation with our full school community, is excited to announce the start of a search for our new head of school.

While the start date is not until July of 2023, we are already fully engaged in the process along with our Search Firm, Carney Sandoe & Associates. As a nationally recognized Montessori school with a strong commitment to outdoor education and a reputation for engagement in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work, we are confident that we will be able to attract and retain a candidate who is well positioned to lead us into the next chapter of the school’s storied history.

The board-appointed Search Committee will post regular updates about this process to be found on this page. Please do not hesitate to send any questions, comments, or ideas to the search committee co-chairs, Corinne Foster and Tuna Chatterjee, at headsearch@lexmontessori.org.
 
Dear LMS Community,
 
We hope you are enjoying a good spring and are feeling rejuvenated heading into the final weeks of the school year. Our search for a Head of School has ramped up, and we wanted to give you an update on the process and timeline for this spring. As our Head of School search moves into its interview stage, we anticipate a very busy and exciting period ahead.

The Search Committee has completed its review of candidate files received from our partner search firm, Carney, Sandoe & Associates. We were thoroughly impressed with the breadth and depth of the applicant pool, which includes sitting heads of school, experienced educators, and candidates from around the globe. After robust evaluation and discussion, we selected 8 of the 14 candidates to interview and get to know further. Following that set of interviews, we anticipate that we will invite three of these candidates to visit our campus in the coming weeks.  Accordingly, we have held the following dates for the finalists to visit:  
 
Thursday, May 12th & Friday, May 13th - Visiting Days for a Finalist with two Parent Q&A Sessions:
  • 6-7pm, Thursday, May 12th 
  • 9-10am Friday, May 13th
Tuesday, May 31st & Wednesday, June 1st - Visiting Days for a Finalist; 2 Parent Q&A Sessions TBD
Thursday, June 2nd & Friday, June, 3rd - Visiting Days for a Finalist; 2 Parent Q&A Sessions TBD
Monday, June 6th & Tuesday, June 7th – alternate date if needed; 2 Parent Q&A Sessions TBD

We will share more information about each finalist’s visit in the next few weeks; for now, please mark your calendar for the finalists’ visits, and for the first Parent Q&A sessions. We encourage you to participate in the process by welcoming our candidates, taking advantage of an opportunity to learn more about them, and helping to strengthen their understanding of LMS. After each finalist’s visit, community members will have an opportunity to share feedback with the search committee via a survey. After fully vetting all the feedback from our community, the Search Committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees at the June 14th Board Meeting.

Reaching this stage of the search is the result of a thorough and intentional process, and we are excited for our broader community to meet this group of highly talented candidates. Thank you in advance for your engagement and support during this important time in school history.

As always, feel free to reach out to us with questions or comments at headsearch@lexmontessori.org
 
Warm regards,
Tuna Chatterjee and Corinne Foster
Co-Chairs for the LMS Head of School Search
Dear LMS Community,

We hope you are enjoying the warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours that mark the start of spring, and that those of you currently enrolled at the school are off to a wonderful start to your spring break.

We are writing to let you know that our consultants at Carney, Sandoe, and Associates, have finalized the Position Statement for the head search. This document was created in close consultation with the search committee, and is the primary tool that Carney, Sandoe, and Associates is using to recruit for the upcoming Head of School position and to communicate with potential candidates about our school.

Our consultants, Burke, Seliat, and Skip, used the information gathered from their February visit to campus, our community-wide survey, and the school’s own website and marketing materials to create the position statement. The draft position statement was further reviewed by the search committee. As such, we believe it is a true reflection of our school’s many strengths, assets and growth opportunities. It should be noted that our consultants remarked upon our school’s unusually high level of engagement at all stages of this information gathering process. The full position statement can be found right here on the "Head of School Search" page, under Position Description.

Thank you for your engagement in this process at this exciting time and as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at headsearch@lexmontessori.org.

All the best and wishing you an early spring,
Tuna Chatterjee & Corinne Foster
Co-chairs, Head of School Search Committee

A Message from Aline

Dear LMS Community,

What a place is LMS -  I have loved these 20+ years here, and I am writing to let you know that the next school year, 2022-23, will be my last as head of school.  In 2023, I will be 65 years old and my husband 75 years old – and we would like to spend more time together.

In 2001, our son James started in Children’s House, followed by Jackson in 2004, and in 2006, I took up the rear, and took up the reins, as head of LMS.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love – live and breathe – this school. You can be sure that I will continue in that vein for the next 18 months and, on some level, for the rest of my life.

LMS is stronger and more diverse than ever, and it continues to make its mark on Montessori education and on what a school can be. It is a great time in the school’s almost 60-year history to have new energy, innovation and courage from the next, truly lucky, head of school. 

After discussions of this change with several Board members, plans have begun in the search for the next head. Under the leadership of Board members Tuna Chatterjee and Corinne Foster, the head search is sure to be successful. Their love for LMS and their sensitivity to what LMS needs right now inspire great confidence as the community embarks on this process. 

While that search happens, I will be doing what I have been doing all along:  leading LMS with determination and optimism - through the summer of 2023.

I love you all. 

Aline

From the President of the LMS Board

Dear LMS Community,

First, I want to thank Aline for the letter announcing her intended retirement as head of the Lexington Montessori School at the end of the 2022-23 school year.  Aline’s thoughtful and visionary leadership will certainly leave an indelible legacy in our community.  After taking a deep, centering breath, please join me in congratulating Aline on making this personal and professional decision.  It was made, in her own words, with “a full heart and a strong sense of purpose.”

Since arriving at LMS in 2001, Aline has steadfastly embodied the process of “Growing Up LMS”;  joining the community first as a new parent and flowing organically to becoming a community volunteer, then a board member, and eventually our head of school.  During her 16 year tenure as head, our school has been strengthened in countless ways.  Five areas of note are:

  • Sustainability:   including the addition of solar panels and the establishment of a flourishing farming program
  • Diversity:   including the recruitment and retainment of teachers, staff, & families, as well as the incorporation of the Horizons@LMS Summer Program
  • Financial Stability:  including the creation and growth of our $4.9 million dollar endowment
  • Expansion of our Campus:  including the construction of the Tucker Taft Building (Middle School, library, art & music) and acquisition of 19 acres of land
  • Leading through Challenges: including navigating a pandemic that has brought unprecedented challenges to bear for students, faculty, staff and parents
 
As we prepare to hire our next head of school, the LMS board is convening a Search Committee co-chaired by Tuna Chatterjee and Corinne Foster, current board members and parents of children in Middle School, Elementary, and Children’s House.  The search firm of Carney Sandoe & Associates has been engaged to support us throughout this endeavor.  In a subsequent letter, Corinne and Tuna will share more with you about the search process – a process in which all members of our community are invited to participate.  We hope to identify our next head of school in the coming months, for a July 2023 start date.  Should you have any immediate questions about the search process, Tuna and Corinne welcome your thoughts and are available at headsearch@lexmontessori.org.   

I want to thank Aline for exemplifying compassion, resilience, and courage as a steward of our community, and I’m confident I speak for many when I say it is truly a privilege to work and learn alongside her.  Aline’s tenure will extend through the 2022-23 school year, so for now we honor the past, appreciate the present, and look optimistically toward the future because, as Aline would say . . . “There's work to be done.”  

Collaboratively and confidently, our board of directors, faculty and staff, and broader parent and alumni community, will take on this important work inclusively, joyfully, and with clear purpose. 
With gratitude and respect,

Deb Kreutzer
President, LMS Board of Directors

Search Committee

List of 11 items.

  • Tuna Chatterjee - Co-Chair

    Tuna Chatterjee is Vice President of the Board. She joined the LMS community with her daughter in 2014, and her son Kai is now also a student at the school. Although Tuna’s introduction to Montessori was unusual (she went to high school at Kodaikanal in India, where Maria Montessori was interned during World War II), she fell in love with the Montessori whole child philosophy once she saw it in action within the thoughtful and thought-provoking school community of LMS. In support of this approach, Tuna has served on the LMS Board for several years and is going into her third year co-leading the Parent Engagement Committee. Tuna also serves on several boards for area nonprofit organizations whose missions focus on children and community-building -- a deeply held passion that started while pursuing a BA in History at Haverford College, and continued at Northeastern University, where she received her JD. After enjoying careers as a software developer and as an attorney, Tuna now focuses full-time on her family.  In her free time, Tuna is an avid quilter and photographer, and always ready to join any creative pursuit with others, as long as coffee is involved.
  • Corinne Foster - Co-Chair

    Corinne Foster is Board Clerk. She started out in Montessori School at the age of four months. Her mother, Linda, was completing her Elementary Internship, and she was allowed to bring her new baby to school with her. Since then, Corinne has been a Montessori student, a teacher, a teacher educator, and most recently a parent. Two of her three kids joined LMS in 2018, and her youngest one joined Toddlers in the fall of 2020. Since joining LMS she has been a room parent in CH and LE, served on the Parent Engagement Committee and Fundraising Committee, and worked with the development office to help coordinate the Cultural Fair, CH Snowball, and Teacher Appreciation Lunches. Corinne is currently a full time mom who loves giving her extra time to LMS. She has an MA in Minority and Urban Education from the University of Maryland and is Montessori Lower Elementary certified. She lives in Belmont with her husband and children. 
  • Ava Archibald

    Ava Archibald has spent nearly 20 years in independent school education. First as an English teacher and then as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practitioner. “What draws me to Montessori education is the way in which its principles naturally fit, hand in glove with DEI."  Ava holds two bachelor degrees from Taylor University in English and Mass Communications and a Masters in English from Harvard University. She joined the community in 2013 and currently has two children at LMS, one in LE and one in UE. Ava also holds a Grand Diploma of Culinary Arts from the International Culinary Institute and spends every chance she gets doing the thing she loves most, cooking. 
  • Elisa Cheng

    Elisa Cheng’s first introduction to a Montessori classroom was as a pre-kindergartener, but alas, her parents thought she needed to be “sat on” and subsequently enrolled her in a much more traditional public school system for the next 13 years. When she grew up to have her own two spunky chatterbox daughters, Elisa vowed to find a school that encouraged hands-on exploration, independent thought, and the occasional excited outburst. She and her husband Ben were thrilled to find all this and so much more at LMS in 2016, when Sophie (now a graduate) started as a 4th grader and Lilly was a CH "rester." Elisa loves being part of the vibrant LMS community, serving as a MS room parent and on the Parent Engagement Committee. She graduated from Harvard-Radcliffe in 1999 and Harvard Medical School in 2006, going on to become an adult psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance and in private practice. Because she’s devoted to lifelong learning, she’s also currently training to become a psychoanalyst at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She has always loved art (especially print-making), soccer, reading, and eating dessert.
  • Deb Helsing

    Deb Helsing is a Co-Director of Minds at Work, where she coaches, consults and provides training on the Immunity to Change approach. She also holds a faculty position at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education (HGSE), teaching courses in Adult Development and Immunity to Change. Deb has also served as a teacher and teacher trainer as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga and has taught secondary English literature writing and adult ESOL classes.  She holds a MAC from the University of Michigan and an Ed.D. from HGSE and has authored/co-authored several articles and books.  She is the mother of LMS alum Josie Lamenza and LMS 7th grader Miranda Lamenza. 
  • Stephen Kayiwa

    Stephen Kayiwa joined the Upper Elementary team in 2011. He did his Montessori training for Upper Elementary at CMTE in New York.  Upon graduating from Clark University in Worcester with a B.A. in International Relations, Stephen worked with middle and high school students at Beaver Country Day School.  He was a student advisor, diversity coordinator and admission associate during his seven-year tenure there. Stephen was born in Uganda and raised in Nairobi, where his mother runs a school.
  • Xiang Liu

    Xiang Liu, PhD, Director/Analyst, is a member of BlackRock’s Active Equity Group. His son, Henry, is currently in Lower Elementary. Xiang is responsible for coverage of the medical devices and specialty pharmaceuticals sectors. Prior to joining BlackRock in 2008, Xiang was a partner and biotech analyst at Mehta Partners. From 2002 to 2005, he was a Director in the corporate development department at Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Xiang began his professional career in 2000 at the Boston Consulting Group as a health care consultant. Xiang earned a BS degree in Chemistry from the University of Science & Technology, China in 1993, a PhD degree in Chemistry from Yale University in 1997, and a MBA degree in finance, strategy, and accounting from the University of Chicago in 2000.
  • Kim McMaken-Marsh

    Kim McMaken-Marsh, Co-Head Teacher in the Middle School, received a B.A. in English from Emory University in Atlanta. She has taught at LMS since 1994, first in Lower Elementary for years and now in the Middle School. Kim received her AMS 6-9 training through CMTE in New York. She served on the LMS Board and has been an active force in our efforts to become a multicultural school. She also has worked with adult students, training Montessori teachers at the Lexington satellite of CMTE. She is mother of two, both of whom attended LMS.
  • Michael Scalese

    Michael Scalese joined the LMS faculty in 1999. Before coming to LMS Mike worked extensively with children in a camp setting and supervising staff and planning programs and development efforts for the Jimmy Fund and Fidelity Investments. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire where he majored in English with a concentration in Education and has completed his 6-9 Montessori credential at CMTE/Lexington. Mike is also Lower Elementary Coordinator and a member of the LMS Board of Directors. Michael’s son attends LMS.
  • Tucker Taft

    Tucker Taft is the parent of two LMS alums, Rebecca and Maia, who attended LMS from 1990 to 2002.  He was on the LMS Board in two stints of 9 years and 15 years, respectively, and was President of the Board for the last 5 of those years.  Tucker was a 2002 recipient of the Maria Montessori Award, and on his retirement from the board in 2019, the building at 10 Lawrence Lane was renamed the Tucker Taft Building. In his professional life, Tucker is Vice President and Director of Programming Language Research at AdaCore, an international software company, with dual headquarters in New York City and Paris. He holds a B.A. Summa Cum Laude in Chemistry from Harvard College.
  • Dilani Vytheswaran

    Dilani Vytheswaran, Co-Head Teacher in Children’s House Room 4, is an AMI trained 3-6 teacher. When she came to LMS in 1998, Dilani assisted in the full day LMS 3-6 program and also held the position of Community Coordinator in the Development Office. Dilani speaks Sinhalese and Tamil, and she has worked in both merchandising and media management. Her two sons attended LMS.
Lexington Montessori School has retained Carney, Sandoe & Associates, a leading educational search firm, to partner with the Search Committee in the Head of School search.

Our consultants from CS&A, come to this work with extensive experience working with Montessori schools, as well as a strong DEI practice.

Burke Zalosh has two decades of search firm experience preceded by time as a classroom teacher, Seliat Dairo worked in progressive and multicultural education prior to joining the firm nearly five years ago, and Skip Kotkins has expertise in both executive searches and governance consulting, having once chaired the board of an independent school himself.

We look forward to collaborating with them in this process.

FAQ

List of 10 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: What is the role of LMS parents in the search process?

    Parents have a very important role in the search process from the start (e.g. giving input through meetings with the consultants from Carney Sandoe & Assoc. and sharing thoughts through an online survey), to the end (having parent representatives meeting with candidates during the finalist campus visits and sharing their feedback).  Throughout the search process, parents are encouraged to share their additional thoughts with the Search Committee co-chairs and our consultants at Carney, Sandoe & Assoc. 
  • Q: Should I still go to Aline with concerns or is there someone else I should contact?

    Yes. Aline is fully committed to her role as Head of School through the end of June 2023.  When issues arise that require continuity beyond the end of Aline’s tenure, she will involve other members of the faculty and/or staff as necessary.
  • Q: Have the demands of managing through the pandemic contributed to Aline’s decision to retire?

    No. While there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that the pandemic has led to increased administrative turnover nationally, Aline’s decision was not driven by the pandemic. In Aline’s own words, “In 2023, I will be 65 years old and my husband 75 years old – and we would like to spend more time together.”
  • Q: Will Aline announce her retirement to the students?

    At this time, a full school announcement to students is not planned.  Teachers at each level will talk to students about Aline’s decision at the discretion of each teaching team, as they have the best understanding of what is appropriate for the children in their classroom.
  • Q: How do we go about finding our next Head of School?

    The LMS Board is responsible for selecting and hiring LMS’s next Head of School. To facilitate the search process, the Board has formed a Search Committee that will recommend a Head of School candidate to the Board. Board members Tuna Chatterjee and Corinne Foster are co-chairing the Search Committee, and are partnering with a national search firm, Carney Sandoe & Associates, to help us in this search for our next Head of School.
  • Q: How will Carney, Sandoe & Associates (CS&A) get to know what makes LMS special?

    In February, consultants from CS&A will visit campus either virtually or in person to get to know our school.  They will conduct extensive interviews with members of the LMS community.  Additionally, all members of the school community will be invited to complete an online questionnaire. Please participate in this very important phase of the search process -- and encourage others to do the same.  YOUR INPUT MATTERS!
  • Q: How will potential candidates learn about what makes LMS special?

    Based on the findings from the questionnaire and the extensive interviews with many of the parent, faculty and staff, students, alumni/ae, and board constituencies, the Search Committee, together with our consultants at CS&A, will create a Position Statement, which will serve as a primary tool in describing the Head of School position to all potential candidates.  Additionally, finalist candidates will visit the school in person and meet with members of the LMS community.
  • Q: Who will have a voice in the search process?

    While the first question describes the role of the parents in the search process, all constituents will have a voice in the search process:
    • The Board is responsible for hiring LMS’s next Head of School. Working closely with the Search Chairs, the Board assures a high level of congruence between the School’s mission, core values, challenges and opportunities for LMS, and the desired candidate profile. The Board will meet the final candidates and, acting on the recommendation of the Search Committee, will approve the appointment of LMS’s new Head of School.
    • Faculty members are part of the Search Committee.  Their role is to represent the best interests of the school (not any one particular interest).  LMS’s faculty and staff will remain actively engaged throughout the search, from giving feedback and commentary to the search firm during the information gathering stage prior to publication of the Head of School Position Statement to meeting finalist candidates. 
    • Students/Alums will participate in age appropriate ways. A group of students will be invited to meet with our consultants from CS&A to offer their thoughts on qualities they would like to see in a new Head of School. The Search Committee also plans to involve students to offer their insights during candidate site visits. Alumni/ae will also be asked to participate in the online questionnaire and may also meet with the consultants during their site visit and with candidates during the finalist visits.
  • Q: When can we expect a new head?

    We will onboard a new head in July 1, 2023. Between now and then, work will be ongoing to make the transition as smooth as possible. A typical search takes between 12 and 18 months.
  • Q: When do we celebrate Aline’s tenure at LMS?

    We’re so glad you asked! We will be excited to celebrate Aline next year, during her last year at LMS. For now, we have work to do in getting the search started.
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