January 27, 2023

Dear St. Patrick’s Community,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am delighted to announce that Jayme Johnson, Ed.D., has accepted our invitation to serve as the next Head of School. Her appointment will be effective July 1, 2023.

Photo of Dr. Jayme Johnson, Head of School

Today’s announcement comes after several months of work by the Board and Search Committee, reflecting on the state of the Day School, developing a leadership profile, interviewing applicants, and ultimately unanimously selecting Dr. Johnson. While most members of the community only met the two finalists for on-campus visits, you may be interested to know that St. Patrick’s received a great many applications from extremely well qualified individuals–a credit to our school, our values, and our reputation.

Jayme and her husband Keith will be moving back to the area from Dallas, where she serves as the Associate Head for Academic and Student Affairs at St. John’s Episcopal School, following four years as their Head of Lower School. Before heading to Dallas, Jayme held the leadership role of Director of Academic Technology at Village School in Pacific Palisades for more than a decade. She earned her B.A. and Ed.D. from California Lutheran University, as well as an M.A. in educational technology from Pepperdine University.

During our background research, colleagues and other educators have shared with us their experience of working with Jayme. In the view of one peer, “Jayme is an extraordinary leader with a passion for mentorship who is excellent with the students and respected by parents…very collaborative and always part of our strategic planning team.” Another described her as “a leader who is willing to roll up her sleeves and get the job done. She is always educating herself.” Perhaps most compelling, we heard about Jayme’s “mission-minded nature,” that she is “joyfully willing to step into the classroom,” and “motivated by students’ progress.” This feedback resonates with what we care most deeply about at St. Patrick’s – the children.

The Board of Trustees is delighted with the successful outcome of this search, and we are grateful to the members of this community for your ardent engagement throughout this process. On behalf of the Board, I would like to take the opportunity to thank my teammates on the Search Committee for the countless hours and thoughtful insight: Cecile Butters, Elain Cleary, Fr. George Daisa, Kimberly Hribal (Co-Chair), Candace Kelman, Patrick Millar, and Holly Sacks.

Below, please find a brief letter from Jayme to the St. Patrick’s community. With exceptional new leadership on the horizon after another year of superb leadership from our current Head of School, Nancy Whitson, the continuing dedication of our faculty and staff, and the earnest support of our families, the Board of Trustees looks forward to a bright future for St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School.

Michael Malecki
Chair, Board of Trustees

Dear St. Patrick’s Community, 

I am incredibly excited to accept the call to lead St. Patrick’s and to carry forward the mission, message, and momentum of this great school. The mission, to inspire and equip children to courageously transform the world, is what initially drew me to the St. Patrick’s, and my campus visit confirmed what I had envisioned – a nurturing values-based community that emphasizes academics for lifelong success and where every child and adult feels known, seen, and loved. 

The first moments of my first day on campus began in Eucharist. And let me tell you, there is nothing like receiving a blessing from 144 students and their teachers to make someone feel embraced, seen, and valued! My remaining days on campus were filled with listening to students confidently respond to and interact with adults, seeing classrooms in action and hearing students in conversation with one another, having lunch with the Student Council (the most rigorous part of my visit, I might add – those students were prepared with a capital P!), and engaging with teachers and parents. At every turn I witnessed joy, confidence, warmth, the Community of Kindness in action, an academic program designed to engage and challenge, and students capably rising to the occasion. 

It is an honor to join such an amazing community and I look forward to continuing the superb work of Mrs. Whitson and the entire faculty and staff of St. Patrick’s as we head into our 60th anniversary. 

With gratitude,
Jayme L. Johnson, Ed.D.