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Head of Lower School Search

Dear King families,

I am thrilled to share the wonderful news that Dr. Sandy Lizaire-Duff has accepted our offer to become the next Head of Lower School, and that she will begin her tenure this summer.  Sandy currently serves as the Head of Lower School at Pingry School in Short Hills, New Jersey - known nationally as a leader amongst independent schools for its excellent programs - and she is leading her own colleagues in their distance learning program for their young students just as we are.  She is looking forward to getting to know her colleagues in the Lower School and on the Leadership Team virtually during the coming weeks, and we will look for opportunities for her to be in virtual conversations with Lower School parents this spring as well.  She also is excited to move to Stamford this summer to live on campus, and looks forward to meeting everyone in person as soon as it is possible for her to do that.  

Sandy holds a BA in Psychology from Montclair State University, an MA in Early Childhood Education from Columbia University, and a PhD in Urban Systems from Rutgers University.  She spent the first part of her career as a Lower School teacher before becoming a staff developer, where she worked closely with teachers to develop their pedagogical practices.  She served as the Assistant Head of the Lower School for three years before taking over as the Head of the division at Pingry, and she has spent her time there building strong relationships and teaching practices with her colleagues, and partnering with parents and teachers to create strong lines of communication that help support students. Most of all, Sandy loves working with young children, and she makes time every day to connect with her students in their classrooms, at lunch, and around the campus. We are so lucky to have attracted someone with Sandy's deep expertise and passion to our school. She is committed and excited to furthering the excellent work that Amy Vorenberg and our Lower School faculty have done to build and enhance our incredible program.

I am grateful to the members of the Search Advisory Committee for the time, energy, and thoughtfulness they brought to this hiring process: Jennifer Agro, PreKindergarten faculty; Cara Grimaldi, Performing Arts faculty; Lisa DeGirolami, Grade 5 faculty; Gilles Chosson, PreK-12 Director of Global Studies; Rachel Jean-Baptiste, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Mi-Sun Freeman, Grade 3 and 10 Parent and Trustee; and Tony Featherston, our consultant from the RG 175 search firm.  Through the entire process of vetting applicants, interviewing candidates, reviewing feedback on our finalists, and checking references, the search committee members remained focused on finding the best leader for all of the children, families, and colleagues of our Lower School. I also am grateful to my colleagues and our parents in the Lower School for graciously stepping up to accelerate our process during the week before spring break, especially as the Global Studies research project was still underway.  That commitment spoke loudly not just to me but to Sandy as well, and was yet another reason that she was so taken with our school.

Sandy has written a letter to our community as well, which can be found on this page. Please join me in welcoming Sandy to the King community!


Karen Eshoo Signature

Dr. Karen E. Eshoo
Head of School

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