At the beginning of the January 2022 semester, Mike McGill took over as the Interim Head of School for the transition between Josh Brody’s departure and the arrival of Rebecca Hong in 2023. He was selected by the Search Committee to serve from January 1st, 2022, to June 30, 2023, and will see off the current senior class of 2023 into their graduation.
Prior to coming to Sequoyah, McGill spent nine years as the head of The Northwest School, an independent 6-12th grade school in Seattle, Washington that had about 500 kids, including some international students.
Aside from the limited quantity of open short-term interim head positions – fewer than 50 at any given year in the United States, Sequoyah’s “philosophy of education” and location in “an interesting part of the country” made it particularly appealing to McGill. He described Sequoyah as “the kind of place that my wife and I sought for our own children back in the day.” He places particular importance on the Stewardship Habit of Mind as he carries out his Head of School duties: “to take care of people, take care of things, take care of the environment, and seek to make the community a better place for all.”
Despite the short duration of his position at Sequoyah, there is a lot to be done. The first thing is setting up everything for a smooth landing for Hong (who was interviewed by The Barefoot Times this past April). He is also helping Sequoyah prepare for CAIS (California Association of Independent Schools) accreditation, which will involve a self-study as well as hosting “a team of educators who’ll come and poke around and ask a lot of questions over the course of 3 or 4 days.” McGill’s other focus is on fostering K-12 continuity and community, meaning K-8 retention into the high school as well as increasing interaction between the two campuses, something that was interrupted by Covid.
One fun fact you probably did not know about Mike McGill is that he has been to 23 Bruce Springsteen concerts (and counting!). He is also part of a fantasy baseball league, which began 21 years ago, along with “8 former students (who were juniors when we started) and two of us faculty.” Be sure to say hi when you see him around campus!