Executive Director Search


We are pleased to announce that Mary Menacho has been selected to serve as the next ISACS Executive Director. The ISACS Board of Trustees unanimously confirmed Mary’s appointment following the recommendation of the Search Committee. Mary will assume the duties of Executive Director on July 1, 2020 following the departure of Claudia Daggett.

Menacho currently serves as Interim Executive Director for the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). In her role at CAIS, Mary has led the association through the transition of a long-time executive director to a permanent successor while maintaining progress on the implementation of the association strategic plan. Prior to her time at CAIS, Mary served for 23 years as head of school at Trinity School in Menlo Park, CA. As head of school, Mary oversaw the growth of robust financial reserves and endowment, multiple capital campaigns and building projects, and the implementation of a more collaborative, student-centered academic program.  

Mary has served as an independent school trustee and board chair and as a trustee and Vice Chair of CAIS. For a period between headship and leading CAIS, Mary consulted school leadership as an executive coach. She earned a BA from University of Oregon and MA in Education Administration from Santa Clara University and is credentialed as an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation.

During the interview with the search committee – and in meetings with the ISACS staff and board of trustees – Mary’s commitment to independent school sustainability and continuous improvement was obvious. She has a clear understanding of the myriad issues facing independent schools and her future-focused, strategic leadership will benefit ISACS’s array of member schools. She demonstrated a deep understanding of the place of accreditation in school reflection and strategic planning and expressed a desire to share her expertise in supporting heads of school, especially new heads, and boards of trustees to create effective governance practices and productive head/ trustee relationships. In Mary’s own words, “I am grateful for this opportunity to learn and to lead in ISACS’s rich tapestry of schools and look forward to listening, learning, and facilitating the benefits of ISACS membership through accreditation and professional development for each of our schools. With gratitude to the Board and especially to Claudia for her leadership, let us lean into what is next for ISACS.”

Mary’s appointment is the culmination of a thorough process that included an association survey, a nationwide search, and interviews with high-quality semi-finalists representing a wide range of gender, ethnic, racial, and geographic diversity and exceptional professional experiences. We are particularly thankful to the other members of our Search Committee: Rob Butler, Audrey Perrott, Rishi Raghunathan, Bryn Roberts, Dean Ruff, and Richard Sanders.

Nat Wilburn
Chair, Board of Trustees

Donna Harris
Chair, Search Committee