Head of School Search

In June 2021, Head of School Mary R. Mahon Sciarrillo will retire after successfully serving as Trinity Hall's founding leader during the school's historic early years. A sixteen-month comprehensive national search for Trinity Hall's second Head of School was conducted, resulting in the Board's unanimous support of the search committee's recommendation to appoint Mary Kate Blaine to the position.

Head of School Announcement

December 3, 2020

MKBThe Board of Trustees and I are excited to announce the appointment of Mary Kate Blaine as Trinity Hall’s second Head of School, effective July 1, 2021. The Board was unanimous in its support of the Search Committee’s enthusiastic recommendation of Mary Kate following a comprehensive sixteen-month national search. Mary Kate distinguished herself from an extensive pool of highly qualified and impressive candidates. Ms. Blaine’s proven commitment to all girls’ education and her experience as an educator, administrator and leader allow her to truly understand Trinity Hall’s mission and vision, and our hopes and dreams for our future.

For the past eight years, Mary Kate has served as Principal of Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington DC, an all-girls college preparatory school in the Roman Catholic faith and Salesian Tradition, dedicated to educational excellence. Visitation’s success is what Trinity Hall has aspired to since its founding. Much like the experience Mary Sciarrillo brought to Trinity Hall from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child, Mary Kate has managed an array of essential functions that allow independent schools to thrive. She has a strong background in curriculum development, strategic growth and project management, as well as a deep understanding of the importance of fundraising and sound budgeting. She worked closely with administration, faculty and students to advance the school’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and was an integral leader throughout the COVID crisis. She is a bright, warm, and visionary leader with an inclusive management style.

MKBIIAs stated by Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson, Head of School at Georgetown Visitation: "Mary Kate invests tremendous care in every young woman at Visitation, celebrating each one’s gifts. She makes time for everyone, embracing St. Jane de Chantal’s call to 'Lead those in your care with an understanding heart.' We will miss her dearly, but wish her all the best at Trinity Hall. You are truly blessed to be welcoming such a great-hearted, gifted educator and leader."

At the beginning of her career, after receiving her B.A. in American Studies from Fordham University and her M.A. in History and Education from Columbia Teachers College, Mary Kate taught Social Studies at Notre Dame School of Manhattan, a diverse all-girls Catholic school serving 300 young women. During her tenure at Notre Dame, Mary Kate completed her Ed.M. in Private School Leadership at Columbia Teachers College. Prior to joining Georgetown Visitation’s community as Principal, Mary Kate served as Chief of Staff to the Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of New York. Mary Kate’s past professional experiences nurture her appreciation for Trinity Hall’s strong community and aspirations for our future, and her ability to contribute to both. Mary Kate is thrilled to be joining a strong and innovative community, dedicated to advancing the profound gifts of young women – and to planting seeds of faith which will support them throughout their lives.

The Board of Trustees and I especially thank Miriam Tort for her leadership and time commitment spent chairing the Search Committee of Sean Clifford, Kerry Devine, Justin Gmelich, Abby Kelly, James Palmieri, Shawn Reynolds, and Michael Walker. Thanks also to our consultants, Laura Hansen and Eric Peterson of Wickenden Associates. Finally, we would like to thank the members of our community – administration, faculty, parents, students and alumnae – who took part in the process. Your involvement was invaluable to solidifying our selection of Mary Kate Blaine. Thank you to Mary Sciarrillo for all her assistance and grace throughout this process, ensuring a smooth transition.

Over the coming months we will keep you informed of events to both honor Mary in her final year and to introduce Mary Kate as Head of School. Please join me in welcoming Mary Kate into the Trinity Hall Community.

Victoria Gmelich
Chair, Board of Trustees

Head of School Search Process

Wickenden Associates is assisting this search. Eric Peterson epeterson@wickenden.com and Laura Hansen lhansen@wickenden.com are the lead consultants. Please do not contact the school directly.

To access the Opportunity Statement, along with application requirements and instructions, please go to: https://www.wickenden.com/opportunities/trinityhallhos21/

October 14, 2020

Dear Trinity Hall Community,

This past Monday, October 12, our third and final candidate completed her visit to Trinity Hall. This concludes the interview stage of the process. The search committee will now review the survey results and begin deliberations.
Thank you...
Mrs. Mary Sciarrillo, for your time and thoughtfulness in welcoming the candidates and coordinating their visits, especially while simultaneously opening school during a very difficult time.
To the administration, faculty, staff, students and alumnae for being an integral part of the search and exemplifying “The Trinity Hall Way."
Lisa Calandrino did an exceptional job handling the logistics for the visits and Beth Koerwer was an outstanding host. Thank you, Dr. Melissa Whelan and Mike Kabash, for producing the parent meetings.
We are grateful to all our parents for your involvement in this very important process. Your feedback was essential to the process.
To my fellow trustees, you have kept the school’s mission at the forefront of the process and provided the committee with support and wisdom.
Lastly, our consultants, Laura Hansen and Eric Peterson, have guided us through the search process with their exceptional expertise. To the search committee -- Justin Gmelich, Sean Clifford, Abby Kelly, Kerry Devine, Mike Walker, Shawn Reynolds and James Palmieri -- your dedication to the search has been invaluable.
In keeping with our promise of transparency during this search process, I will continue to update you on the status of the search for out second Head of School.

Miriam Tort
Chair, Trinity Hall Head of School Search Committee

September 29, 2020
Dear Trinity Hall Community,
Thank you for making our first Head of School candidate feel welcomed. She was thrilled to visit Trinity Hall and was extremely impressed with our school and especially the girls.
Thank you to the administration, faculty, students and parents who took the time to meet with the candidate.

Your observations of the candidates are very important to the search committee. Please take a few minutes to complete the Wickenden survey as soon as possible. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/trinity-hall-finalist-survey
Our second candidate will be visiting Trinity Hall on Monday, October 5. Parents will have an opportunity to meet her via a Zoom meeting at 7 p.m. Please make every effort to attend this meeting, we want to hear from you! Mrs. Sciarrillo will send an email with the candidate's name, resume and Zoom link on Sunday.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions on the candidates or the process. mtort@trinityhallnj.org

Miriam Tort
Chair, Trinity Hall Head of School Search Committee

September 21, 2020

Dear Trinity Hall Community,

Last fall the Head of School Search Committee, along with our consultants from Wickenden Associates, began the search process. Our consultants spent a couple of days visiting Trinity Hall and interviewing various constituents of our community. Additionally, in February 2020 the community participated in an on-line survey to gather information before proceeding with the search. Based on the interviews and survey responses, Wickenden helped us develop Trinity Hall’s Opportunity Statement. The statement provided an in-depth profile of our school and described the opportunities and challenges facing our next Head of School.

Over the winter, Wickenden personally contacted nearly 200 potential candidates and had conversations with over 100. Of these, 40 candidates were targeted and on September 1 Wickenden provided the committee with credentials of the top 12 candidates.

The committee reviewed the credentials and met with Wickenden to select eight semi-finalists. The search committee spent this past weekend interviewing the eight semi-finalists, and after much deliberation, the committee selected four finalists.

The finalists have been invited to campus, each for a two-day visit. During the visits, candidates will meet with important constituencies including faculty, staff, trustees, parents and most importantly, students.
Tentative dates for the visits will start September 27 and end October 5. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, parents will have an opportunity to meet the four candidates via a zoom meeting. The community will be able to provide valuable feedback to the search committee by completing a confidential on-line survey which will be compiled and summarized by our search firm, Wickenden Associates.

Prior to September 27, I will provide details on the visits, and the names and profiles of the candidates. We are VERY EXCITED with the finalists and we are looking forward to sharing the information with you!

Miriam Tort
Chair, Trinity Hall Head of School Search Committee





January 9, 2020


Dear Trinity Hall Community,


On November 26, 2019, Victoria Gmelich, the Chair of the Trinity Hall Board of Trustees, announced the retirement of our beloved Head of School, Mary Sciarrillo. I have had the pleasure of working with Mary since the inception of Trinity Hall and I cherish our working relationship and our friendship.

This is an important chapter in Trinity Hall’s history as we transition from our founding Head of School to the next leader of this wonderful institution. I am honored to have been asked by Victoria Gmelich to Chair the Head of School Search Committee. I fully understand and accept the responsibility of this position, and the trust that has been placed on me and my committee to ensure the future of Trinity Hall.


I am very excited to introduce the Search Committee Members. They are visionary thinkers, astute judges of character, understand the mission and vision of Trinity Hall, and are fully committed to the search process.


Search Committee
 Sean Clifford, Founder  James Palmieri
 Kerry Devine  Shawn Reynolds
 Justin Gmelich, Founder  Michael Walker
 Abby Kelly  

Additionally, the search committee has engaged the firm of Wickenden Associates to help us navigate this important process. Wickenden has successfully conducted hundreds of Head of School searches and has consulted with over 500 independent schools. Our search will be led by Eric Peterson and Laura Hansen. The Committee has already formed a wonderful relationship with the Wickenden team, and we are confident they will do a fine job helping us to identify, vet, and hire the best candidate for Trinity Hall.


The first step in the process is for Wickenden to gather as much information about Trinity Hall as possible in order to prepare an “Opportunity Statement” which is used to recruit prospective candidates. Wickenden has already met with the Search Committee and the Board of Trustees and will be meeting with various administrators, faculty, parents, students, and alumnae. Additionally, the Trinity Hall community will have an opportunity to share their opinions by completing a survey which will be sent out via Constant Contact. Once all the interviews are completed and the surveys are analyzed, Wickenden will develop the appropriate materials to identify and recruit the best candidate for Trinity Hall.


I pledge to be transparent throughout this search process. In the coming months, I will post updates on this webpage along with the search timetable. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.


Once again, I thank Mary for her guidance and unrelenting dedication to starting Trinity Hall and bringing us to where we are today. I look forward to the continued success of Trinity Hall over the next eighteen months under Mary’s leadership, and her assistance in ensuring a seamless transition as we prepare to welcome her successor.


Miriam Tort
Chair, Trinity Hall Head of School Search Committee




November 26, 2019

Dear Victoria,

I am privileged to serve as the founding head of Trinity Hall and continue to feel inspired and excited by the school’s mission. As we have grown, our early success has been an absolute team effort led by the founders and the board of trustees, and supported by a team of teachers, administrators, parents, and students who all believed in the value of this single-sex school. Right from the beginning and continuing today, Trinity Hall is a school that empowers young women to be their best selves while providing opportunities that truly change the landscape of their education.

It is with very mixed feelings that I inform you and the board of my intent to retire at the end of the next school year (June 2021). When we began this journey, I promised five years and now in my seventh year as head, I continue to be driven to give my very best. I love this school and feel challenged daily by the students who want the very best and demand – and deserve –so much more. It is now time to consider the future of Trinity Hall and to step aside for the next leader. And it is time for me to enjoy the family that has grown during my time here. I am still young and energetic enough to continue an active lifestyle, which includes three children and nine grandchildren. I will never be bored.

As we enter the next stage of our growth, we will seek new leadership that will continue to build on the strong foundation of this initial team. The succeeding teams will be inspired by our four core values, our early success, and the dream of even more possibilities for the young women of Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties. I look forward to working with the board of trustees and the search committee as Trinity Hall begins the process to select the next head of school.

In the remaining two years I serve as head of school, I remain committed to securing the future of Trinity Hall, building a legacy that will remain long after the founding team. We must stay focused on our mission as we strategically plan for the next years. My agenda will be to raise endowment monies for scholarship and financial aid, review and refine curriculum, and build relationships that support and ensure all students are successful while sustaining student enrollment and maintaining the low attrition rate.

Together we have accomplished so much and together we will continue to build the very best school our girls deserve!

As the founding head, my future will always include Trinity Hall. I expect to remain a loyal donor, a faithful fan, and committed team member. God has been our strength and He will continue to provide the direction and blessings as Trinity Hall grows and remains steadfast in its mission to educate and empower young women. With a grateful heart, I thank you for the privilege you have given me as head of school.

Mary R. Sciarrillo
Head of School

November 26, 2019

To the Trinity Hall Community,

Today I bring you bittersweet news of the retirement of our founding head of school, Mary Sciarillo. When Mary came to Trinity Hall in 2012, she promised us five years. When she retires at the end of 2021, she will have been with us for close to nine years leading our first eight graduating classes. We are so grateful for her tenure.

Mary and I first met in early 2012 when I was touring Oak Knoll in North Jersey to see some recent architecture work that had been done. I started to know Mary more closely when I asked her to come interview for the position of head of school. As a native of our area, Mary was well aware of the void that existed in regard to an all-girls high school. Even so, it took a lot of convincing to have Mary leave her very successful, comfortable career at Oak Knoll and jump into the unknown at Trinity Hall. I did not have much to promise her except that we absolutely needed her and the young ladies of Monmouth County needed her too. Indeed, time was of the essence as we planned on opening the school in just eight months.

Perhaps Mary felt it was her call of duty, to help those in need, which inspired her to accept the challenge and help begin the then Monmouth Girls Academy. Never did Mary expect to deal with the challenges and the workload that she encountered. Yet she rose to every occasion. Her wisdom and leadership were crucial to the beginnings of Trinity Hall; the journey with us from our inception grants us a shared history. It takes a very special combination of skills to get a brand new school off the ground. Bringing 20 plus years of experience and insight to Trinity Hall was key to our early success and Mary’s unparalleled work ethic has been instrumental in getting the job done. Three construction projects later, countless logistical hurdles, several accreditation processes and our school is thriving!

As Mary looks towards her future, she has recently expressed her desire to spend more time with her husband, her children and her grandchildren. She would like to retire while she is young enough to enjoy her active lifestyle. I feel privileged to call Mary a close friend and confidante these past seven years and want her to move on to her own next chapter on her timeline.

While we have enjoyed Mary sitting at the helm of our school, there is also excitement as we embark on our journey into the next phase of our evolution. Our Board of Trustees is confident that there are many candidates who will apply to pursue the challenge. We trust that we will have more than our share of great candidates to choose from. Our next head of school will have to be a talented, seasoned individual with the same tireless energy and enthusiasm to take Trinity Hall to the next level. The Board of Trustees and I have already retained a national search firm, Wickendon Associates, in order to help us navigate this process. They are among the foremost experts in independent school head searches and we feel that they are aligned with our goals that we see for our next leader.

The timing of Mary’s announcement gives us a sufficient timeline to do a proper search and we will make sure we hire the very best candidate. I have asked Miriam Tort, the Vice Chair of the Board, to lead the search committee. In addition to a diverse group of current trustees, our former assistant head of school Dr. James Palmieri has also agreed to be part of that committee. As some of you know, Dr. Palmieri was part of the initial leadership of the school and intimately understands the culture of Trinity Hall. In short, he knows our school inside and out. We also value your views as parents and students to help us in our decision- making. It is of utmost importance that the next head understands our culture and puts our core values at the forefront of all that we do. The Board of Trustees has always worked closely with Mary to make sure that Trinity Hall’s program reflects our mission and our vision. This will not change.

Please join me in wishing Mary all the best on the announcement of her well-deserved retirement. While we still have almost two years left we know the time will fly by. Thankfully, Mary has assured us that she will never be far away and will always be a part of what we do at Trinity Hall.

Please know that in the coming months we will keep clear lines of communication, informing you of our progress. If you have any pressing concerns, please reach out to Mary or me at any time. Please read the attached letter from Mary.

On behalf of the Trinity Hall Board of Trustees, we are thankful for Mary’s presence in our lives and we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Victoria Gmelich
Chair, Board of Trustees


Mary Kate Blaine is announced as Trinity Hall's second head of school.
All final candidates visited Trinity Hall and now the Search Committee begins deliberations. 
The Head of School Search Committee and Wickenden Associates selected eight semi-finalists, and the committee further narrowed the field by selecting four finalists after a round of interviews. 
The search continues on schedule and the Search Committee looks forward to reviewing prospective candidates in September. "We are on schedule for an announcement this Fall!" said Miriam Tort, chair of the Head of School Search Committee.
Head of School Search Survey: We are asking students, parents, faculty, administration, staff, alumnae, alumnae parents, trustees and anyone else in the Trinity Hall Community to complete the survey. Please complete the survey before the deadline of February 16.
Wickenden search team visits Trinity Hall's campus.

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students: Trinity Hall admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.