Head of School Transition & Search

In January 2021, Rafael del Castillo announced his inten­tion to step down as Head of School at the end of the 2020-21 school year.

This page will be updated as the Head of School search progresses.


>>Members of the Bertschi community, current and past, are invited to take a survey to provide input into the search process. Click here to take the survey.


Teri Barnett will serve as Interim Head of School for the 2021-22 School Year

We are committed to conducting an inclusive and extensive search to identify the best possible Head of School to lead Bertschi’s next chapter. The Board of Trustees has organized a Head of School Search Committee to conduct a thorough national search for our new Head of School with trustees Tiffany Kelly-Gray and Dave Morris serving as its co-chairs.

The Board has unanimously appointed Teri Barnett, currently the Associate Head of School, as Interim Head of School to steward Bertschi in the upcoming school year. The Board is grateful to her for providing leadership and continuity during the 2021-22 school year.


Head of School Search Committee

We are committed to conducting an inclusive and extensive search to identify the best possible Head of School to lead Bertschi’s next chapter. The Board of Trustees has organized a Head of School Search Committee to conduct a thorough national search for our new Head of School with trustees Tiffany Kelly-Gray and Dave Morris serving as its co-chairs.

Consis­tent with the best prac­tices laid out by the National Association of Independent Schools, our search will follow the stan­dard process for inde­pen­dent schools. The Board of Trustees has assem­bled a Head of School Search Commit­tee (below) whose goal is to select two to three final­ists for the Head of School posi­tion.

The Board has also retained Storbeck Search, a highly-regarded inter­na­tional search firm, to assist us in a national search.

  • Tiffany Kelly-Gray | Co-Chair, Trustee & Parent
  • Dave Morris | Co-Chair, Trustee & Parent
  • Bernadette Bulacan Starin | President, Board of Trustees & Parent
  • Melinda Williams | Trustee & Parent
  • Becca Ochiltree | Trustee & Parent
  • Chris Walker | Trustee & Parent
  • Tracy Bennett | Trustee & Alumni Parent
  • Celeste Macapia | Trustee & Parent
  • Mia Santos Herrmann | Faculty & Parent
  • Raney Cumbow | Faculty
  • Shannon Yergan | Faculty
  • Michael Sung | President, Bertschi Parent Council & Parent

Search Timeline

  • Spring 2021: Virtual Campus Visits Hosted by Storbeck Search
  • Summer/Fall 2021: National Search Led by Storbeck Search
  • Fall 2021: Finalist Visits With the Community
  • Fall 2021: Search Committee Recommendation to the Board of Trustees
  • November 2021: Announce New Head of School

Commu­ni­ca­tions to the Bertschi Community

March 5, 2021: Search Process Update & Timeline Read the update here>>

February 2, 2021: A New Chapter | Rafael del Castillo will continue DEI work at Rainier Scholars Read the update here>>

January 21, 2021: Letters from Rafael del Castillo (Head of School), Bernadette Bulacan Starin (President, Board of Trustees), and Teri Barnett (incoming Interim Head of School) Read them here>>