Head of School


Aloha Island School ‘Ohana and Friends,
The Island School’s Board of Directors enthusiastically announces the appointment of Nancy Nagramada as Island School’s next Head of School. She will join the School on July 1, 2023.
The nine-member Head of School Search Committee, appointed by the Board of Directors and led by Sam Pratt and Jed Gushman, partnered with RG175, a premier executive search firm that specializes in head-of- school searches. RG175 identified more than 45 qualified applicants with varying degrees of familiarity with PK-12 school practices, management, pedagogy, and curriculum from private, independent, parochial, public schools/districts throughout the world.  RG175 identified and benchmarked the strongest applicants based on Island School’s Position Statement qualifications and requirements to present to the Search Committee. 
Island School was fortunate to attract highly qualified candidates from around the world. Following a thorough and collaborative process that included input from all of Island School’s constituents, the Board of Directors believes that Nancy exemplifies the attributes and personal qualities to lead and guide Island School into a new era. During her visit to Island School, Nancy demonstrated her abilities to be an inspiring communicator and bridge-builder who instills trust. In addition, the comments we received from her references and our faculty, staff, students and parents, confirm that she is a forward-thinking educational innovator who can inspire and energize teachers, administrators and students. We readily saw that she has the genuine desire and ability to lead with Aloha.
Nancy has an accomplished academic career as an administrator, educator, and teacher.  She comes to Island School with more than 25 years in a variety of educational settings on both the East and West Coasts.  Currently, Nancy serves as the Assistant Head of School and Head of Middle School at The San Francisco School in San Francisco, California, one of the oldest independent, coeducational day schools in San Francisco, founded in 1966.  Previously, she served as a teacher, administrator, and residential faculty member during her 14-year tenure at The Athenian School in Danville, California. She received her Masters of Arts in Education Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, and Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Education from Hunter College.
During her time with us, Nancy shared that she is a first-generation Filipina-American who learned a tireless work ethic from her parents and has dedicated her professional life to shaping schools to build a true feeling of belonging for all community members. She thrives in environments that nurture confident students who love to learn, have empathetic hearts, and are ready to make a significant impact on the world around them. 
Nancy will complete the 2022-2023 academic year at The San Francisco School before moving to Hawai‘i with her husband Charlie, also an educator, and son, Milo, currently a 6th grader. Their other three adult children, Sam, Sidney, and Sebastian, will remain on the mainland to continue their education and careers. 
We have appreciated the collaboration with RG175 for the search process, and Jim Scott and Doreen Oleson, our firm representatives, will continue as partners into the next school year, supporting Nancy’s transition with mentorship and counsel.
Finally, I would like to thank the Island School ‘Ohana for enthusiastically participating in this selection process and providing invaluable feedback. I would also like to thank all the members of the Search Committee for their extraordinary service and dedication to Island School, particularly Sam Pratt and Jed Gushman for their leadership as co-chairs of the Search Committee. And finally, special thanks to Vince Durnan, who as our Interim Head gave us the opportunity to complete a thorough search while still having confidence that the school was in great hands.
Kathy Richardson
President, Board of Directors


Dear Island School Community,
How do I begin to express how I feel about this incredible journey we are embarking upon together? My two days with you felt like I was walking towards a community that approached this process with arms held wide open, inviting me to step into your embrace and share who I am and what I have to offer.
I readily noted how students are held at the center, including their voices in this important process to select the next Head of School. I loved the outdoor preschool with its enthusiastic explorers, the brave 5th Graders leading the elementary morning meeting, and the gregarious and earnest middle and high school students asking me about everything from the daily schedule, how to make school as engaging as possible for all students, and even pressing me to know my favorite breakfast cereal. Who knew that Captain Crunch would change my life?!?
But in all seriousness, the commitment of Island School’s teachers, staff, and administrators is so clear. The students, supported by dedicated families, readily dive into learning. You have built a remarkable school over the last 46 years. And as I stated to the search committee, I will work tirelessly to foster meaningful relationships with each student as well as all faculty and staff, and to sustain thriving partnerships with the parenting and alumni communities of Island School to ensure the next stage of Island School’s future is one that fulfills the mission in new and meaningful ways. 
Charlie and I are thrilled that our youngest child Milo will also join the community in the fall in the Middle School. We can see what a distinctive education he will receive at Island School. I have no doubt that over time we will all get to know each other well. Whether it is through my love of books, being a dedicated school athletics fan, cooking meals, hosting family and friends in our home, or singing and dancing, my whole family looks forward to connecting with yours and getting to know what you love.
It is a dream come true that I will join you this summer as your next Head of School so that together, in the community, we will educate minds, inspire hearts, and prepare Kaua’i’s youth to lead lives of significance.
I cannot wait to become a Voyager alongside you. 
Humbly yours,
Nancy Nagramada
    • Head of School


Head of School Search 2022

Previous Updates

List of 4 items.

  • Head of School Search - Update #4

    We are pleased to provide an update on the search for Island School’s next Head of School. 
    The Search Committee recently met after the application period ended and reviewed over 40 diverse applicants, including men and women with various backgrounds from across the U.S. and Hawaii, as well as several countries.  Various criteria were considered during the evaluations, including the recent survey results, and we are pleased to inform you that 8 candidates have accepted our invitation to participate in virtual interviews over the coming weeks.
    At the conclusion of the interviews the committee will be narrowing this group to a few finalist candidates who will travel to Island School for campus visits in early 2023.  During the campus visits we will invite faculty, staff, parents, students and other important supporters to play an important role: meeting the candidates, asking questions of the finalists, and giving feedback to the committee. Your impressions will be welcomed as the search committee deliberates on which candidate to recommend to the Board of Directors as our next Head of School.
    Please visit www.ischool.org/head-of-school to continue monitoring the process.  Mahalo once again for your support and participation during this transition.
    Sam Pratt & Jed Gushman, Co-Chairs
  • Head of School Search - Update #3

    October 7, 2022

    We hope this message finds everyone enjoying their fall break.  We’re writing to provide you an update on the Head of School search.

    First, thank you to those who had a chance to meet with Dr. Jim Scott of RG175 when he visited our campus on September 26th and 27th. Jim commented that the school seemed to be a wonderful institution with a committed and supportive community, and he left feeling positive about the opportunity to identify the next leader of Island School.

    RG 175 has prepared a draft of the position description which will be used to publicly announce our opportunity to interested applicants. The search committee is currently reviewing the document and we are hopeful the announcement will be made public sometime in mid-October.

    The Island School community will soon be invited to participate in a short survey which will help to gather information about the school and characteristics important in the next leader. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to share your thoughts with RG175 and the search committee.

    We’re happy to announce the names of the people who have joined our search committee. We are in the process of finalizing brief bios about each committee member which will be shared on the website, www.ischool.org/head-of-school.

    In closing, we again encourage you to watch for an invitation to a brief survey which should be sent out sometime in the next week. Thank you in advance for your honest and timely responses.

    Christine Ing (Board member, Parent)
    Erin Cobb-Adams (Parent)
    Jed Gushman (Co-Chair, Board member, Parent)
    Kathy Richardson (Board Chair, Past Parent)
    Lyndsey M. Alohalani Haraguchi-Nakayama (Parent)
    Sam Pratt (Co-Chair, Board member, Parent)
    Shantelle Shimogawa (Faculty, Parent)
    Sonia Topenio (Board member)
    Stephanie Achuara (Faculty)
  • Update #2

    Aloha Island School community,
    We're writing on behalf of the Head of School Search Committee to inform you about an upcoming visit by our Head of School search consultant Dr. Jim Scott of RG175.  Dr. Scott will be arriving on Kauai this Sunday and will be meeting with various individuals and groups of people at Island School on Monday and Tuesday.  A tentative schedule is being finalized and will be posted before the weekend on the Island School website,    https://www.ischool.org/head-of-school.
    The purpose of Dr. Scott's visit is to learn more about Island School to help RG175 and the Search Committee craft a Position Description document which clearly portrays the school and the opportunities for the next Head of School as the new leader. The Search Committee will soon be inviting all parts of the school community to participate in a brief anonymous online survey about Island School.  The data collected through the survey will also help with development of the Position Description document which will be used to advertise the leadership opportunity in coming weeks.
    In closing, thank you for your interest in the search process and for supporting the mission of Island School.

    Monday - Sept. 26, 2022

    7:45 am
    Dr. Jim Scott - arrive at Island school
    8:00 am
    Meet with Vince Durnan, Head of School
    HOS Office
    8:45 am
    Campus Tour with Sean Magoun
    9:30 am
    Meeting with Division Directors (PreK, Elementary, Middle, & High School)
    Frear Center
    10:30 am
    Meet with High School Students
    Frear Center
    11:30 am
    Lunch with Director of Institutional Advancement
    Frear Center
    12:30 pm
    Meet with Middle School Students
    Frear Center
    1:30 pm
    Meet with Business Manager
    Business Office
    2:30 pm
    Meet with Director of AcademicsFrear Center
    3:00 PM
    Meet with Athletic Director
    Frear Center
    3:30 pm
    Meet with Faculty & Staff
    Frear Center
    4:30 pm 
    Meet with Search Committee
    Frear Center

    Tuesday - Sept. 27, 2022

    7:30 AM
    Dr. Jim Scott  - arrive at Island School
    7:45 AM 
    Meet with Parent Association and interested parents
    Frear Center
    9:00 AM
    Meet with Elementary Students
    Frear Center
    10:00 AM
    Meet with Executive Assistant
    School Office
    10:45 AM
    Meet with School Counselors
    Frear Center
    12:00 PM
    Closing - Lunch with Vince Durnan
    1:00 PM
    Wrap up with Search Chairs (Jed Gushman + Sam Pratt)
    Frear Center

    *Schedule subject to change
    Sam Pratt & Jed Gushman, Co-Chairs
  • Update #1

    August 24, 2022
    I hope the school year is off to a great start for you and your family and that you’ve had the chance to help welcome our Interim Head of School, Vincent Durnan!  I am writing with an update about the upcoming search for a permanent Head of School at Island School.
    I am pleased to announce that Sam Pratt and Jed Gushman have agreed to serve as co-chairs of the Head of School search committee. The committee is currently being assembled and will represent all parts of the school community. The job of the search committee will be to oversee a transparent, inclusive process and to evaluate candidates against criteria that the entire Island School community will help to create.
    The Board of Directors is pleased to share that we have contracted with Dr. Jim Scott and Doreen Oleson of RG175, a school leadership consulting firm, to assist with the search for the next Head of School. Their in-depth knowledge of school leadership, and in particular Hawaii independent schools, is expected to be valuable. More information can be found at RG175.com.
    During the month of September, we will conduct a survey about Island School which will invite our school community members to participate in anonymously.  In late September we will welcome Dr. Scott and Ms. Oleson to Island School to meet with various groups and individuals.  Using the survey responses and conversations, the consultants and committee will form a position description which will be used to publicly announce and advertise the opportunity to lead Island School beginning July 1, 2023.
    The field of applicants will be carefully screened and narrowed to a pool of semi-final candidates who will then be interviewed by the search committee via internet conference.  Finalist candidates will be identified and will visit the Island School campus in the fall. At this point, we will look to the Island School community to play another important role—meeting the finalists, asking questions and giving feedback to the committee. Your impressions will help as the search committee deliberates on which new leader to recommend to the Board of Directors for consideration. We plan to identify and announce our next leader before the end of 2022.
    More details about the committee and the upcoming survey will be sent in a few weeks, and details of the consultants' visit will follow shortly after. As the process moves forward, we will continue to send updates to you and post information on our website, www.ischool.org/head-of-school.  Thank you for your continued interest in this important process!
    Kathy Richardson, Chair, Board of Directors