A Message from the Head of Upper School

Members of the PCDS community,

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have accepted, with enthusiasm, the unanimous recommendation from our Search Advisory Committee, which was shared by our teacher and student panels:

Lisa Culbertson will be the next Head of Upper School at Phoenix Country Day, commencing July 1, 2014.

Through the fall and early-winter, our community helped identify the key attributes of a successful Head of Upper School. An ideal candidate, we agreed, must be:

  • An authentic presence
  • An inspirational leader
  • A passionate learner
  • A clear and persuasive communicator
  • A thoughtful and courageous decision-maker

Without question, Lisa Culbertson is all of these and more.

Lisa grew up in Dallas and attended the Hockaday School before moving on to Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, where she majored in Government. After a brief stint on Wall Street, Lisa determined that her heart was not in finance—it was in education, where she could have a dramatic effect in the classroom and as an administrator. Lisa ultimately found herself back in Texas, where she taught mathematics and served as Dean of Students at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin.

Lisa’s work at St. Andrew’s led her to Columbia University, where she will receive her M.Ed., from the prestigious Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, with a major in Private School Leadership. Interestingly enough, Lisa’s field work at Columbia focused on educational innovation; in the role of consultant at The Dalton School, she has investigated how to implement design thinking into curriculum.

For more details, click here to view her resumé.

There’s no denying the critical nature of the role the Head of Upper School plays in our community. That we were able to attract such a dynamic individual to fill that role is incredibly affirming and exciting. We knew the moment we met Lisa that she was something special, and from my conversations with her over the last week, it’s clear that she felt the same about us. The spark in that match is something that will serve our school well for years to come.

Please join me in welcoming Lisa Culbertson to Phoenix Country Day School.

Andrew M. Rodin