It is with great pleasure that we announce our next Head of School for The Meridian School: Dr. Ruth Mathis Bissell, who will start in the position on July 1, 2022!
Dr. Bissell comes to us with more than twenty years of leadership, teaching, and coaching experience ranging from elementary, middle, high school, and college level experience. Ruth’s training as an anthropologist (emphasis on race, class, and gender in archaeology, Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst) coupled with her educational leadership training (M.A. in Educational Leadership from University of California, Berkeley) has provided her a unique skill set as an educational anthropologist. A teacher at heart, and lifelong learner, Ruth enjoys spending time with students as well as coaching educators, including teaching educational college courses and facilitating professional development at the local and national level. For the past six years, she has been the head of the upper school (fifth to eighth grade) at the San Francisco Day School, a progressive K–8 school in California that has been committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and innovation.
In this capacity not only has she helped increase inquiry-based learning for the fifth through eighth grades, she has also worked across the whole community to implement restorative practices, increase the diversity of students and faculty, support student and faculty affinity groups, redesign professional development programs for teachers, and improve instructional practices, including the incorporation of social justice and cultural competency.
Ruth’s love of education, inclusion, and community building led her to serve on the board of Prospect Sierra School for the past six years, providing great hands-on experience with governance and strategic planning.
Ruth has an amazing wealth of experience that she will bring to Meridian to help us take our school on the next phase of our journey.
Those that met Ruth during her visit to the school remarked on how she left them feeling inspired and excited. Our community loved her energy and presence, and noted how she engaged with students during her visit. Others commented on how she was ready to both lead and learn from the committed faculty and staff that we have. All of this added up to Ruth being a great next leader for the school.
When we started this process in the spring, the Search Committee asked this community for feedback and involvement—from what makes this community special and what we are looking for, to engagement with candidates we brought to campus. I would like to thank you all for that effort and participation. And I would especially like to thank the trustees and staff on the Search Committee for their leadership through the process.
The Board of Trustees is excited to have Dr. Bissell join us next year as our Head of School, and wholeheartedly looks forward to partnering with her on continuing to make Meridian an even more exceptional school and community.