Head of School Search

On Tuesday, April 2, 2019 Head of Seattle Waldorf School Tracy Bennett announced her intention to step away from her role at the end of the school year in 2020. Our community holds deep gratitude and admiration for her near decade of leadership as we search for our next Head of School and begin a new branch of our journey. Please watch this page for updates.

Letter from Tracy Bennett

Letter from Curt Eckman, SWS Board President


Update: Finalist Candidates Selected

The Head Search Committee is pleased to announce that we have selected three finalist candidates who will be visiting our campuses in the next month. We are very excited about each candidate and look forward to welcoming them soon.

There will be opportunities for SWS faculty, staff, parents, students, and Board of Trustees to meet each candidate and provide feedback to the Head Search Committee after each visit. After all of the candidates have completed their visits, the Head Search Committee will meet to recommend a final candidate to the SWS Board of Trustees, who is responsible for hiring the next Head of School.

Candidate Dr. Leif Gustavson

Finalist candidate Dr. Leif Gustavson will visit SWS October 27–29. Currently Dean of the College of Education at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, he received his PhD in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. An educator with roots in Seattle, he has taught middle school on the east coast and developed curricula and other resources for K–12 schools around the world.

Candidate Blake DeYoung

Finalist candidate Blake DeYoung will visit SWS November 3–5. Currently Associate Head of School and Head of the Clyde Hill campus of Bellevue Christian School on the Seattle Eastside, Mr. DeYoung started his career as a teacher of English and History. Previously, he held various roles at Bear Creek School in Redmond, most recently as the Division Head of the Middle School.

Candidate Raquel Scharf-Anderson

Finalist candidate Raquel Scharf-Anderson will visit SWS November 17–19. Currently Head of School at Dubow Preschool and Martin J. Gottlieb Day School in Jacksonville, Florida, Ms. Scharf-Anderson started her career as a middle school science teacher. Previously, she served as the Head of School at Da Vinci Academy in Elgin, Illinois and as Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs at the Pardes Jewish Day School in Phoenix, Arizona.

Head Search Committee

To ensure a thoughtful and thorough search process, the SWS Board of Trustees has established a Head Search Committee.


  • Curt Eckman (Board President)
  • Cathy Simon (Trustee and SWS Parent)

Committee Members

  • Brigitte Bertschi (Trustee, Waldorf Graduate, and Former Head of Bertschi School)
  • Bonnie Freundlich (EC/GS Pedagogical Chair)
  • Jennifer Haakenson (SWS Parent Association Chair and SWS Parent)
  • Andy Hoag (Trustee and SWS Parent)
  • Erika Lindsay (Trustee and SWS Parent)
  • Mark Perry (Trustee and Former Faculty)
  • Steve Roos (Board Vice-President and SWS Parent)
  • Anouk Tompot (HS Pedagogical Chair and SWS Parent)

Search Committee Updates

Frequently Asked Questions

Search Process

SWS Head of School Position Statement

Anticipated Timeline

Position postedMay 2019
Application deadlineJuly 15, 2019
Semifinalist interviewsSeptember/October 2019
Finalist visitsOctober/November 2019
AppointmentDecember 2019
Start dateJuly 2020

About Our Search Partner

The SWS Board of Trustees has engaged Search Consultant Doreen Oleson of Resource Group 175 (RG175) to support our Board and its appointed Search Committee in identifying the next Head of School for Seattle Waldorf School.