Choosing someone for EBI’s Interim Head of School Position was not easy but our Search Committee was up for the task. The main criteria used in the Interim Head of School search were previous experience as a Head of School, experience leading a school through a transition, and the ability to heal and rebuild communities.
The process was rigorous and the initial screening yielded five candidates. Based on interviews, the Search Committee narrowed the search to three finalists who were invited to visit campus. From there, two decided to move forward in the recruiting process.
After the visits to campus and much discussion, Ben Griggs emerged as the top candidate and was offered the Interim Head of School position by the Board of Trustees. Ben has accepted the offer and began working alongside our community on August 15, 2023..
Ben grew up in Half Moon Bay and has lived most of his life in the Bay Area. Currently, Ben lives in Oakland with his partner Whitney, their two young children and their beagle-y rescue dog Malkmus. Ben was most recently the Head of School at the Marin School and prior to that was their Assistant Head of School, serving their community for eight years. Ben was responsible for stabilizing declining enrollment, facilitating the first solvent budget in the school’s recent financial history, and overseeing two consecutive hiring seasons of 100% faculty and staff retention.
The feedback on Ben, internally and externally, consistently mentioned his calm demeanor, high emotional intelligence, his keen ability to connect with others, and his passion for serving learning communities. These are traits that EBI needs right now, and we look forward to seeing the impact that he will have on our school. We will institute a transition committee to work alongside Ben to ensure he has a robust support plan that is in alignment with EBI’s mission and values.
With that said, we welcome Ben wholeheartedly to the EBI Community and are happy to share a bit of his first HOS message:
“One thing I really knew about EBI before joining the community is that one of its strongest attributes is its dedicated and passionate faculty and staff. As I have seen again and again in my first few days on campus, not only is this team composed of amazing teachers, expert administrators, and enthusiastic staff, but it is truly a community of incredibly kind adults. The returning crew has been so welcoming to me and to all the “newbies” on campus. I knew that I was entering a nurturing and caring environment; what I did not necessarily expect was the substantial degree to which I would be received with open arms and positive, big-heartedness.
I have to tell you, in my career, I’ve seen the beginning of 15 different school years at four different schools. And there are some things you really want to see in the couple of weeks before the school year starts. Here’s my oversimplified list:
- Hard-working administrators who have poured their hearts into summer prep for the year;
- Enthusiastic teachers coming back to campus with big ideas and passions about the coming year;
- A strong sense of community, evidenced by an earnest happiness to all be together again;
- A palpable hum of excitement that fills the halls, classrooms, offices, and grounds as educators prepare for “The Big Day”: the first day of school!
All of this is happening at EBI. And that’s so exciting.” – Ben Griggs
And we, as a community, couldn’t be more excited to welcome you to the EBI family.