Head of School Search
FOUNDING HEAD OF SCHOOL MARY R. MAHON SCIARRILLO
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.
|Sean Clifford, Founder||James Palmieri|
|Kerry Devine||Shawn Reynolds|
|Justin Gmelich, Founder||Michael Walker|
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.
Chair, Trinity Hall Head of School Search Committee
Head of School Search Communications
A Letter from Head of School Mary R. Mahon Sciarrillo
November 26, 2019
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
A Letter from the Chair of the Board of Trustees
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.
Chair, Board of Trustees
February 23, 2020
March 5-6, 2020