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Head of School Search

Head of School Search

After 28 years with Donna Milani Luther serving as Head of School, Inly prepares for new leadership in 2025.

Inly School is engaged in the early stages of a search for a new Head of School and will continue to post updates to the community about the process here.

Dear Inly Community,

As a Board of Trustees, we are committed to keeping you informed of all steps regarding the Head of School transition plan, which will take place during the 24–25 school year. This video message and the timeline below outline the plan for the upcoming months.

If additional questions arise at any point in the process, please feel free to reach out to the Board’s Executive Committee via the email links below. We are always happy to engage in conversations with the community about the search process and the state of the school in general.


Stacey Best P’22
Board of Trustees President

Vice President: Elizabeth Feeherry P’29
Treasurer: Charles Haley P’23, ’27, ’30
Clerk: Jonathan Mariano P’31, ’33, ’35
Conor Cooper P’27, ’27, ’29
Davenport Crocker, Jr. P’19, ’20
Alvin Delgado P’28, ’30
Rick Housley ’08
Moira Kelly
Brijal Padia P’24, ’29
Ryan Peña P’23
Mia Antonia Porciatti P’23
Dr. Ingrid Tucker

Inly School Head of School Succession Process

Spring/Summer 2024: The Board engaged Educational Directions to assist with the Interim Head of School process. Educational Directions begins reviewing school information.

Fall 2024: The Board of Trustees Search Committee works with Educational Directions to outline the Interim Head of School Position Description. An Interim Head of School is an experienced school leader who, after serving as a permanent Head of School, now serves as an Interim Head for schools looking to allow a buffer between a long-term Head of School and the new permanent Head of School.

Late Fall/Early Winter 2024: A select group of Trustees and School personnel will meet with prospective Interim Head of School candidates and provide feedback to the Board of Trustees. The Interim Head of School will be appointed by early winter 2024/2025.

Spring 2025: The search for the permanent Head of School begins with an inclusive process. The various school community members (faculty/staff, administrators, board members, parents, students, alumni) will meet with the search consultants to share their views about Inly School, which will inform the search consultant and search committee in developing the Head of School Opportunity Statement.

July 1, 2025: The Interim Head of School begins serving Inly as the Head for the 2025–2026 school year.

Summer 2025: The search firm and the Head of School Committee recruit prospective Head of School candidates for the Inly School search. Candidates are interviewed, and preliminary references are contacted. At this point, the search is confidential.

Fall 2025: The Inly Head of School Search Committee selects semifinalist candidates to participate in confidential interviews, after which the search committee selects finalists to visit campus.

Three finalists will visit Inly School and meet with school community members over a two-day interview process.

Late Fall 2025: Inly School Board of Trustees select and name the next permanent Head of School.

July 1, 2026: The next Head of School begins their tenure.

March 5, 2024

Dear Inly Community,

It is with great pride and a grateful heart that I share with you that 2024-2025 will be my final year at Inly School. Serving as your Head of School has been a tremendous honor and the highlight of my 50+ year career in education. I am deeply proud of the community that we have created over the last 28 years, and I know that Inly is ready for its next chapter, building on all the wonderful work we have done together.

Inly has grown significantly during my tenure, and I am thrilled that each year more students have the opportunity to learn and flourish in the extraordinary environment that supports the whole child from toddler through adolescence. Together, we have navigated a global pandemic, deepened our commitment to equity and inclusion, expanded our campus, added to our athletic offerings, and much more. For me, though, it’s the small moments — children greeting me at arrivals in the morning, meeting with me to pitch ideas for assemblies and projects for the school, and unexpected kindnesses — that will live forever in my heart.

The essence of Inly, characterized by our collective spirit, shines brightly in every classroom and co-curricular activity, thanks to our passionate and talented educators, our families, and our students. Our distinctive Montessori+ curriculum—designed to prepare children at each level for the challenges of an ever-evolving world—is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our entire team. Our signature events, which include Morning Shares, Gingerbread Day, the Halloween Parade, Flying Up, Experiential Learning, Model UN, Graduation speeches, and Inly Players performances, are emblematic of the community-centered values that continue to be the heartbeat of the family-centered partnership that we cherish and were made all the more possible by the work of our extraordinary leadership team that has supported me throughout. 

It is an exciting time at Inly, just the right time for a new leader to move Inly into the future. Our strong Senior Leadership team, as well as our entire faculty and staff, and our students and families, make Inly an attractive option for candidates seeking to join an innovative, inclusive, and inspiring school community. I’m confident that Inly will continue its progress as a visionary school community grounded in the Montessori values established by our founders. I am also confident that the Board of Trustees will engage in a thoughtful search process for my successor and communicate details of this process along the way.

Meanwhile, I’m here. I love Inly and care deeply about its future. I commit to a smooth transition for the next administration and will work tirelessly until June of 2025 with all of the energy and dedication I have shown since my first day here in July 1996. I have a great deal more to do and will accomplish all I can in the next year and a half.

With warmest regards and unending gratitude, 

Donna Milani Luther 
Head of School

March 5, 2024

Dear Inly Community,

Last year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Inly School, an incredible milestone for our “little school on the hill.”  During our 50th anniversary celebration, Donna shared that when she was hired, she was asked what she would like her title to be; Head of School, Director, President, etc.  Her response was: “Head and Heart of the School.”  Of course, that was not actually practical, so for the past twenty-eight years, Donna has officially been the “Head” and, many would agree, the “Heart” of Inly School. Her visionary leadership has been vital in guiding Inly to deliver on its promise of a dynamic and inclusive Montessori education.

Having led our school through the COVID-19 pandemic, Donna reached out to the Board in January 2022 and expressed her interest in eventually spending more time with family and pursuing other passions, some of which started at Inly. Over the last several months, and as we looked ahead to the next fifty years of Inly, Donna and the Board of Trustees recognized that we are at an optimal moment for change and transition. It is with deep gratitude and appreciation for what Donna has meant to Inly that I share with you that Donna will retire in June 2025, at the conclusion of the 2024-2025 school year.

Donna’s accomplishments at Inly during her tenure, which has spanned more than half of the lifetime of the school, have been many. When Donna arrived, The Montessori Community School was on a three-acre campus with approximately 147 students, serving Children's House and Lower Elementary. In 2004, Donna led the school through a name change, and we became Inly – a word meaning to do something “with deep thought and understanding.” Today, Inly’s campus is 14 acres and serves 340 students from toddler through eighth grade.  

Under Donna’s leadership, Inly has expanded its early childhood education program to include year-round opportunities in Toddler House, Children’s House and Kindergarten. Infusing her love for theater and performing arts, Donna has shaped the Inly arts curriculum to provide students with extensive opportunities to develop confidence and creativity in the classroom and on stage. From climbing the Spartan obstacle course and learning code on the Robotics Team to studying plants in our EcoLab and performing with their classmates in the Artsbarn, Inly students readily distinguish themselves from their counterparts in other schools due to their imagination, courage, and ease with expressing their ideas.

Over the past several months, the Board of Trustees has spoken to several educational search consultants in order to ensure that our head of school search is in the very best hands. The Board has chosen to engage Educational Directions, a national independent school search firm founded in 1986, to partner with us in finding a leader who will carry forward Donna’s work. Dr. Jerry Larson, the Managing Partner of Educational Directions, will assist the Board in developing a succession and transition plan. Dr. Larson has himself been the head of an independent school and appreciates the challenges and opportunities facing Inly. 

Selecting the next Head of School is arguably the most important role of the Board of Trustees. Based on its review of best practices for independent schools and conversations with educational consultants, the Board has determined that following Donna’s remarkable tenure, Inly will appoint an Interim Head of School, who will begin their service on July 1, 2025. Dr. Larson will also partner with the Inly School Board of Trustees to create a succession process to prepare for and hire our next long-term Head of School. 

During the interim search, Dr. Larson will gather information from the Board, with input from members of the school community. He and the Board will consider various aspects of the school’s operations, focusing on governance and leadership needs. This discovery will inform the extended and broader search for our next long-term Head of School.

Over the next eighteen months, we will take many opportunities to celebrate and honor Donna’s legacy and good work. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to express our deep appreciation for Donna and her commitment to Inly. We are honored to serve as stewards of this process, grateful for Donna’s leadership, and inspired as we look to Inly’s future.   


Stacey Best
Chair of the Board of Trustees