Breaking News: Lark Palma to Leave Catlin Gabel Next Year

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From the Autumn 2012 Caller


Lark Palma has announced her intention to leave Catlin Gabel at the end of the 2013–14 school year, after 18 years as head of school. Lark has been Catlin Gabel’s longest-serving head, and she will leave a strong and enduring legacy.

Board chair Steve Gordon said, “In providing us ample time for a thorough search, Lark Palma graces Catlin Gabel once again. This will be an inclusive process with involvement from the whole community.” He says that the board will appoint a search committee and hire a search consultancy firm as soon as possible, to begin the nationwide search for a new head of school. The board expects a new head to be in place by the fall of 2014.
Lark will continue her ambitious charge in this year and next as head of school. “In addition to my ongoing commitment to outstanding academic and co-curricular programs, my top priorities are obtaining our continued accreditation with flying colors, and advancing the Campaign for Arts and Minds,” she says.
“I am confident we will finish the campaign in the next two years. I continue to meet with prospective donors, tell our story, and encourage their commitment to Catlin Gabel’s future,” she says. “Many others who appreciate the opportunity to make a difference in the life of our school share my passion for this place.”
A visionary leader, Lark has overseen great advancements in curriculum and fundraising, and enhanced the campus. She brought the Knight Family Scholars program to Catlin Gabel. She has led the charge to review the curriculum across the divisions to create a seamless educational experience for our students in all disciplines. She has revitalized global, outdoor education, and urban studies programs, all of which teach children through experience how to successfully make their way in the world. She has fostered interdisciplinary classes, most recently in environmental science and policy.
Lark says that “buildings are curriculum,” and under her leadership the school built a world-class track and field, remodeled the Beginning School, and built the Upper School library and buildings for math, science, modern languages, and humanities. Construction has begun this fall on a new Creative Arts Center for Middle and Upper School.
Although Catlin Gabel is a small independent school, Lark Palma has earned the stature in our region equivalent to that of a leader in higher education. She has inspired others to join her in this vision for a strong and vital school that adapts to changing times while staying true to its philosophy and mission.
Please check Catlin Gabel’s website for updates on the process as it unfolds.