Head of School Search

Head of School Search

Dear St. Michael’s Community,


The Board of Trustees is excited to announce the appointment of Walter Landberg as St. Michael’s Country Day School’s next Head of School, effective July 1, 2020.  The Board was frankly awed by the quality of candidates this search attracted – not least of all the superb finalist group – and views the interest from this caliber of educators as a reaffirmation of our school’s special culture and standards of excellence.


In his rich career as a Head of School, Walter has demonstrated unique talents and strong leadership traits that led to successful outcomes for both the institutions and students under his guidance.  Walter is a thoughtful, pragmatic and innovative leader who has worked well with various constituencies at numerous school communities spanning diverse regions nationwide.  He has a proven track record of stewarding organizational growth and stability, and doing so with compassion, confidence and care.


Walter brings deep expertise and experience across a range of fields critical to our continued success, including but certainly not limited to strategic and financial planning, diversity leadership, fundraising, marketing and community building.  The Board approved Walter’s appointment unanimously and has full confidence in his ability to advance St. Michael’s upward trajectory while maintaining the traditions and core beliefs of our beloved 80-year-old institution.


The Board’s singular goal throughout this process was to find the right leader to meet the school’s challenges and achieve our long-term strategic goals.  The process was led by the Search Committee, whose eight members each represented their constituencies (lower and middle school faculty, administrators, parents and trustees) with sincerity, candor and integrity.  Throughout the process, the Search Committee and Board strove to be equitable, open-minded and thorough, thoughtfully considering the input of all school constituencies.  Walter has proven himself an educator at heart and a strong leader guided by a gentle and principled spirit.  We look forward to having him on campus.


Walter was very impressed with the loyalty and sincerity of the people he met at St. Michael’s, first and foremost the students. He is looking forward to integrating into the school culture and collaborating with students, parents, faculty and trustees to build on the school’s legacy of success. In the coming months we will keep Walter apprised of all high-level decisions so he can hit the ground running come July 1.  If schedules permit, I know he will be eager to visit SMCDS to prepare himself for the challenges and transition ahead and to meet as many community members as possible.


Walter will be joined by his wife, Kirsten, and four-year-old son, Anders, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming them to the St. Michael’s family.


The Board of Trustees thanks you for all your feedback, confidence and support throughout the search process. Thank you for welcoming Walter and his family to St. Michael’s Country Day School.




Isabella Ridall

Search Committee


Amy Martin:               Chair of the Search Committee, Trustee and SMS Parent

Isabella Ridall:            Chair of the Board of Trustees, Alum and SMS Parent

Angus Davis:              Trustee and SMS Parent

Jeff Day:                     Director of Technology

Jennifer Huntley:        Director of Advancement and SMS Parent

Kate Joubert:               Director of Student Services

Mervan Osbourne:      Trustee and SMS Parent

Phil Tutino:                 4th Grade Teacher

COVID 19 update — our campus is closed but #SMSstaysconnected!

At this time, there are no known cases of COVID 19 in our SMS community. As Head of School Jim Heus wrote in a letter home to parents:

“In keeping with our nation’s efforts to maintain social distancing, and consistent with Governor Raimondo’s two-week suspension of public schools throughout the state, we will launch our plan for distance learning. We have planned, rehearsed and are ready to execute ‘virtual’ instruction on Monday, March 30th.”

Please CLICK HERE for FAQs on COVID 19 and distance learning.