Head of School Search

Mayfield Announces Next Head of School

The Mayfield Junior School Board of Trustees and Chairperson Alison J. Gamble are pleased to announce the selection and appointment of Mr. Joe Sciuto as our next Head of School. Following an exhaustive national search, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Search Committee’s recommendation to succeed retiring Headmaster Joseph J. Gill.

For close to two decades Mr. Sciuto has proven to be an exceptional school leader in faith-based and independent education, having served as Head of School, Principal, Assistant Principal, Dean, Teacher, and Coach.

Mr. Sciuto is currently in his eighth year as Head of School at Providence High School in Burbank, a Catholic, college preparatory and coeducational school guided by the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Providence. As a result of his thoughtful leadership and compassionate guidance, Providence has experienced significant growth and improvement in enrollment, school climate, academic culture, financial position, fundraising, facilities, and governance.

Before coming to Providence, Mr. Sciuto served as Upper School Principal for seven years and Upper School Assistant Principal for four years at The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks. From 1998 to 2000, he mentored students as Dean at Campbell Hall, a K-12 Episcopal and independent day school in Studio City.

A product of Catholic education, Mr. Sciuto holds a master’s degree in American Studies from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University, Northridge.

Mr. Sciuto’s Catholic faith plays a central role in his life and work, and he feels that Mayfield Junior School’s Holy Child mission parallels his vision of what a vibrant educational program should be. He fully embraces Cornelia Connelly’s spirituality and whole child philosophy and believes children learn best and flourish when they feel safe and loved. Mr. Sciuto commented, "When young people know they are in a nurturing learning environment they can be their best.”

The Southern California native has a unique understanding of the fabric of Mayfield Junior School having previously served on the Board of Trustees, including the Committee on Trustees and Finance Committee.

Mr. Sciuto believes Mayfield’s Holy Child Catholic identity provides a distinct opportunity for students to thrive. “Timeless,” “innovative” and “fruitful” are words used by Mr. Sciuto to describe Holy Child pedagogy.

Mr. Sciuto is the proud husband to Marcie, an educational therapist in private practice, and father to Vincent, a graduate of the University of California, Davis, and Anthony, a future graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Mr. Sciuto and his family attend St. Bernardine’s of Siena Catholic Church in Woodland Hills.

Following Mr. Gill’s retirement announcement, the Board, led by former Chair, Michael C. Buchanan, formed a 13-person Head Search Committee representing all parts of the MJS community: administration/faculty, current parents, alumni, parents of alumni, current and former Board members, the Holy Child Network of Schools, and friends of the school. The nationally-recognized head of school search firm, Educational Directions, assisted in the nationwide search.

"Caring and providing for the needs of our students is at the heart of Mayfield Junior School," said Buchanan. "I am thankful for the Search Committee's tireless efforts and am confident we have selected the best candidate to lead our school community moving forward."

Mr. Sciuto feels blessed and honored to be named Mayfield Junior School’s next Head of School. He is committed to strengthening the mission, upholding traditions and continuing the upward trajectory of our school community—one he calls filled with "dynamic" and "forward-thinkers."

"As a result of meticulous planning, dedication, and hard work by so many, our Holy Child community is primed to define what K-8 education will look like," said Board Chair Alison Gamble. "We look forward to Joe Sciuto leading Mayfield Junior School into our next era and to see how our students, faculty, staff, and parents will benefit from his vision. Our future is very promising."

Mr. Sciuto begins his tenure as Head of School on July 1, 2019.

Head of School Information Document

Head Search Committee

Michael Buchanan
Former Board Chair, Current Parent ’18, ’19, ’20

Samantha Bainter ’97
Former faculty, Current Parent ’27

Geoff Bland
Former Board Chair, Parent of Alumni ’15, ’16

Brandon Carroll ’00
President of the Alumni Association

Alison Jones Gamble ’83
Board Chair, Parent of Alumni ’18, Current Parent ’20

John Higgins
Former Head of School at High Point Academy, Former MJS faculty and administrator, Former Board of Trustees, Parent of Alumni ’87, ’90

Bridget Kelley-Lossada
Middle School Director, Current Parent ’18, ’22

Scott McBride
Board of Trustees, Parent of Alumni ’15,’18, Current Parent ’24

Jacqueline Meek
Former Board of Trustees, Parent of Alumni ’09, ’11

Bob Nakasone
Board of Trustees, Current Parent ’20, ’25

Amy Powell
Board of Trustees, Former President of the Parents' Association, Parent of Alumni, Current Parent ’15, ’17, ’23

France White, SHCJ
Former Board of Trustees

Eileen McDevitt, SHCJ (Ex-Officio) 
Director of the Holy Child Network of Schools

Letters to the Community

List of 2 items.

  • Letter from Board of Trustees Chair Michael Buchanan

    March 15, 2018

    To the Mayfield Junior School Family,

    I write this note with mixed emotions. After 10 years of tireless leadership and vision, our beloved Headmaster, Joe Gill, has informed the Board of Trustees of his intent to retire at the end of the 2018 – 2019 academic year. We receive this news with tremendous appreciation and respect for what Joe has been able to accomplish in his years at MJS, but also regret that this must come to an end.
    While Joe has been and will always be a part of our MJS family, we understand and admire his desire to spend more time with his wife, Sarah, and their family.

    In the fall of 2007, Mayfield Junior School faced the daunting challenge of finding a new Head of School after our then current Head of School, Stephanie Griffin, announced her retirement. A search committee was assembled and they began the exhaustive process of finding our next leader. While the Committee was unanimously in favor of hiring Joe, few could have anticipated the successful results his hire would yield. Joe used his energy, enthusiasm, and deep commitment to our mission to build upon the success of Stephanie and her predecessors. Joe’s desire to provide equal access to an MJS education regardless of financial resources led to the Board initiative that increased financial support from 4% of our budget to a now steady 11 ½%. Recognizing the importance of attracting and retaining consistently high quality educators, Joe guided MJS on a five-year plan designed to increase teacher salaries by 8% per year in an effort to make them more competitive with similar independent schools. It was Joe’s commitment to safeguarding MJS’s future which led to an almost 200% increase in our endowment under his watch as well as the exciting vision for our current campus master plan.

    As we move forward, I want to assure you that our Board of Trustees is dedicated to finding a new Head of School who embraces the principles of a Holy Child education and provides the vital leadership necessary to ensure the future success of MJS. We are fortunate that Joe has provided us with early notice of his retirement as this assures us ample time to conduct an expansive nationwide search. To that end, the Board has already engaged a nationally recognized search firm, Educational Directions, to lead the search for our next Head of School. Educational Directions was selected by the Executive Committee of the Board after seeking proposals from 11 educational search firms and conducting 3 on-site interviews. Furthermore, a search committee is being formed that will work with Educational Directions throughout this process and ultimately select our next Head of School. At the request of our consultant, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees has asked me to lead this committee. The composition of our committee will include representatives from all of MJS’s key constituencies including our faculty, administration, parents, alumni and other friends of our school. All will have an active voice in this process, as will students.

    We are deeply grateful for Joe’s leadership and friendship over the past 10 years. Mayfield Junior School has never been stronger. There will be opportunities and celebrations to recognize his work throughout the 2018-19 academic year. I know I speak on behalf of the entire MJS community when I say thank you to Joe; thank you for his passionate commitment to our community, thank you for his strength and guidance, and most importantly, thank you for always putting the children first. Because of Joe’s leadership, Mayfield Junior School is thriving.

    Most Sincerely,
    Michael C. Buchanan
    Chair of the Board of Trustees
  • Letter from Headmaster Joseph Gill

    Mayfield Friends,

    For the past forty-two years, my life has been dedicated to fulfilling the mission of my schools and serving the children and parents in each community.

    Committing my professional life to making a positive contribution to the education and development of students has been a noble and extremely rewarding career. It has taken me across the country, challenged me professionally and personally and introduced me to some of the most wonderful people in the world: many of whom I now proudly call friends.

    Coming to Mayfield Junior School, and the Network of Holy Child Schools, in 2008 was a blessing that changed my life and enriched me as a person in ways I will never fully appreciate. Today, I share with you that at the conclusion of the 2018-19 school year I will be retiring. Spending the final chapter of my career here, with you, has been the most meaningful professional experience and one far more fulfilling and gratifying than I could have ever imagined. Sarah and I have been fully embraced and welcomed into this community and for that we are deeply grateful.

    Long before we came together here in Pasadena, I began my journey with the simple objective of doing my best to work with my colleagues to care for kids. I never had a complicated career map or lofty aspirations to lead such a fine school as Mayfield Junior. Sometimes you get lucky. My work was built on the belief that there is value in making a sincere effort, doing my best, and trying to make a contribution. I know any impact I may have made was never tied to my station or specific job, but to the responsibility I had to each child, parent and colleague. That is why I went to school each day.

    When I left for college in 1970, I somehow knew that I was being called to spend my life in education. I jumped on and never really looked back, until I started to write this letter. This exercise in “reflection” has been humbling, emotional and a bit overwhelming. The perspective of being close to the “end” of anything allows you to consider the blessings you’ve received and appreciate the many opportunities along the way. The most profound feeling I have today is knowing that my mother and father are very proud of what I have chosen to do with my life. That itself has made it all worthwhile.

    I was so fortunate to follow such an extraordinary leader and woman as Stephanie Griffin. During her time and for previous decades, Mayfield has had a legacy of being an exceptional school. While my promise to her was that I would do my best not to “mess up” all the great work she had done, my one true objective was to help lead Mayfield Junior School to becoming the finest Independent/Catholic K-8 school in the country. I believed it then, and even more now, that this is the true destiny of our school.

    Mayfield continues to fulfill the mission of providing for the religious and educational development of our students. In order to continue improving, we are called to push ahead because our students and families deserve it and it is our promise.

    It has been a joy to watch our academic, artistic and athletic programs strengthen and flourish while the faith formation experience has been enriched.

    I have witnessed our student body become more diverse and more representative of the community in which we live.

    The teachers with whom I have worked have dedicated themselves to adopting new and innovative teaching strategies that have focused on the learning needs of the child rather than solely the subject matter.

    Today, I am part of a vibrant, healthy and prestigious school. We proudly display the traditional signs of institutional health including a competitive admissions profile, low student and faculty attrition and successful high school placement. Our school finances are strong with a growing endowment and years of budget operations in the black.

    Most importantly, I will be leaving a school where joy and love for others is paramount and abundant. This community, where the values of our Catholic faith are alive, will continue to deliver the promise of a Holy Child education.

    I am able to make this decision because I am confident in the future of our school. The Trustees, Administration, staff and faculty are all in place poised to provide the leadership, and committed to move Mayfield forward. The guidance of our Strategic Design, Campus Master Plan, Mission Effectiveness and CAIS Action Items will lend a road map for the future Head of School.

    I am excited about the challenges of the next year and committed to standing with you to build the future of Mayfield Junior School.

    Thank you for allowing me to serve.

    My blessings,

    Joseph J. Gill

Head of School Search Updates

List of 3 items.

  • September 28: Opportunity to Meet the Candidates

    Dear Mayfield Junior School community,

    The Head of School Search Committee has interviewed the selected semi-finalist candidates, and after thoughtful consideration and deliberation, the Committee reached a unified consensus to invite three candidates for more extensive meetings and interviews. We are confident that any of these individuals would make a great Head of School for Mayfield, and would be able to lead our community for years to come.

    The three finalists will be on campus for separate two-day visits beginning October 3. This is an opportunity for our community to learn more about each of the finalists, and for each finalist to learn more about us. As noted in previous communications, the entire Mayfield community will have an opportunity to meet them. We will send you information on each candidate prior to their respective visits. We will also include a link to an online feedback form to share your thoughts on the finalists with the search committee.

    We currently have three dates set aside for current parents, alumni parents and alumni to meet each of the finalists.

    Finalist #1: Thursday, October 4, at 6:00 pm or Friday, October 5, at 8:15 am
    Finalist #2: Monday October 8, at 6:00 pm or Tuesday, October 9 at 8:15 am
    Finalist #3: Monday, October 15 at 6:00 pm or Tuesday, October 16 at 8:15 am

    All of these meetings will be in the Hayden Performing Arts Center. Faculty, staff and administration will be provided a separate schedule.

    Please note that the search committee will be thoroughly investigating the references for each finalist. Because of the serious nature of this process and the professional courtesies we must provide to the candidates, we ask that you allow the search committee, and the search committee alone, to conduct reference checks. In keeping with the respectful and professional protocol we have agreed to with the candidates, if you know of someone who it would be appropriate for the committee to speak with, please contact me so that I may reach out to that person directly.

    Following the visits and reference checks, the Search Committee will review the feedback provided by the community, and determine a final candidate to recommend to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees holds the responsibility of formally selecting the next Head of School.

    This is an exciting time for our community and we look forward to your participation in the selection of the next Head of School for Mayfield. As was stated above, we will provide you more details, including brief bios of each candidate just prior to their respective visits. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

    On behalf of the search committee,
    Michael Buchanan
    Search Chair
  • April 21: Site Visit Follow Up

    Dear Members of the Mayfield Junior School Community,

    As you know, our Head of School search consultants from Educational Directions, Mathew Heersche and Risa Oganesoff Heersche, were on campus April 12-13 to learn about Mayfield’s community, our culture, the opportunities for the next Head of School, as well as the qualities sought in this individual. If you did not have the chance to meet with them, there is still an opportunity to share your thoughts through our online survey. The survey is available here. The survey will remain open until Wednesday, April 25.

    In a meeting with the Search Committee at the conclusion of their visit, Mathew and Risa shared their initial impressions. They noted Mayfield is a warm and welcoming community with a real sense of family—one that lives out the spirit of the Holy Child. From the moment they stepped on campus, they saw and felt the joyful spirit of students as they went from Morning Prayer to classrooms. Mathew and Risa toured the school with Admissions Director, Lauren Marlis, and witnessed Kindergartners reflecting about their visit to the Pasadena Humane Society, fourth graders writing in their memory book, and eighth graders proudly sharing about leadership opportunities. It is clear the curriculum combines core academics with character-building through leadership and service highlighted by innovative programs and a wide assortment of art and athletic opportunities. Mayfield's faith-filled community in conjunction with an emphasis on educating the whole child sets the school apart from other K-8 schools. They spoke with faculty who demonstrate a commitment to Mayfield and its students, reaching for excellence and staying at the forefront of their craft by taking advantage of professional development. They see a school that is operating from a position of financial strength, and one filled with great opportunities for the next Head who will help lead us as we move forward as a school.

    Mathew and Risa, using the information gathered during their visit, will develop a Candidate Information Document (position description), which will articulate the special qualities of the Mayfield community, the opportunities for the next Head of School, as well as the qualities sought, both personal and professional. This document will be shared with the Search Committee for review and approval, and posted on the Mayfield website.

    The Candidate Information Document will be used as part of the recruitment efforts. Over the course of the next few months, Mathew and Risa will reach out to Catholic educational leaders and programs, executive directors of educational organizations, and regional school associations to notify them of this wonderful opportunity.

    Throughout the remainder of this academic year, Mathew and Risa will be identifying and screening top prospects to present to the Search Committee. Five to seven top candidates will be selected to interview with the Search Committee, resulting in three finalists who will be introduced to the school community in the fall of 2018.

    Our schedule calls for the engagement of the next Head of Mayfield Junior School to be completed in late October 2018. There will be an organized transition process, culminating in the new Head commencing work July 2019.

    We look forward to the search process and will keep all members of our school community informed as to its progress via regular updates.
  • March 26: Search Committee and Process Announcement

    Dear Members of the Mayfield Junior School Community,
    With the recent announcement of the retirement of Joseph Gill in July 2019, the Board of Trustees has begun the search process for his replacement. The selection of the new Head is one of the most important responsibilities of the Board of Trustees. In order to continue to provide our Holy Child promise to our families, we will be searching for an exceptional individual who believes in our Mission and shares a love for the students we serve. As previously noted, I have the honor of chairing the Search Committee. The full committee list is below:
    Michael Buchanan, Board Chair, Current Parent ’18, ’19, ’20
    Samantha Bainter ’97, former faculty, parent of Kindergartner in
    Class of ’27
    Geoff Bland, former Board Chair, Parent of Alumni ’16, ’17
    Brandon Carroll ’00, President of the Alumni Association
    John Higgins, former Head of School at Highpoint Academy, former MJS faculty and administrator, former Trustee, Parent of Alumni ’87, ’90
    Bridget Kelley-Lossada, Middle School Director,Current Parent ’18, ’22
    Scott McBride, Board of Trustees, Parent of Alumni,
    Current Parent ’15, ’18, ’24
    Jacqueline Meek, former Board of Trustees, Parent of Alumni ’09, ’11
    Bob Nakasone, Board of Trustees, Current Parent ’20, ’25
    Amy Powell, Board of Trustees, former President of the Parents' Association, Parent of Alumni, Current Parent ’15, ’17, ’23
    France White, SHCJ, Board of Trustees, former faculty
    Eileen McDevitt, SHCJ, (Ex-Officio) Director of the Holy Child Network of Schools
    The Head search process will be carefully structured and inclusive. An important first step is for our consultants, Mathew Heersche and Risa Oganesoff Heersche, to spend time on campus and learn as much about our school as possible. They will visit Mayfield Junior School on April 12 and 13 and interview members of all stakeholder groups within the school (students, faculty, parents (current and former), administrators, alumni, Board members) as to what we seek in our next leader. Among the key questions they will ask of all of us are:
    • What is the culture of our school?
    • What are the perceived challenges and opportunities of the school?
    • Where do we, as a school, want to be in five years?
    • What experience/leadership styles/personality traits will best meet those needs within our culture?
    A detailed schedule will be provided shortly; however, we do want to let parents know there will be two forums where you will be able to meet with Mathew and Risa. The first is April 12 (6:00 pm in the Hayden Performing Arts Center) and the second is April 13 (8:15 am in the Hayden Performing Arts Center).
    In addition, we are providing another opportunity for your input through an online survey. You can access the survey HERE.
    From all of the information gathered through this process, Mathew and Risa, with the Search Committee, will develop a clear and definitive position description to be used to attract appropriate candidates. We will, of course, share this description with all members of the Mayfield Junior School community once it is completed.
    Our consultants will be reaching out to individual Catholic educational leaders, executive directors of educational organizations, a variety of Catholic educational leadership programs and regional school associations to notify them of our opening. Over the next months, they will be identifying and evaluating top prospects. Our goal is to identify a group of top-level candidates and then narrow that number down to five to seven individuals whom the Search Committee will interview. From that group will come three finalists. There will opportunities for school community members to meet the finalists in Fall 2018.
    Our calendar calls for identification and engagement of the next Head of Mayfield to be completed by late Fall 2018. There will be an organized transition process culminating with the new Head commencing work on or about July 1, 2019.
    We look forward to the search process and will keep all members of our school community informed as to its progress via regular updates and all information pertaining to the search will be posted the Head of School Search Page on our website.
    For the Search Committee,
    Michael C. Buchanan

    Search Committee, Chair
    Board of Trustee, Chair