On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are pleased to announce that Ralph Wales will serve as our permanent Head of School for an additional two years through June 2023.
While we believe there were several finalists who would have led our school and community well, the Board of Trustees and the Vestry came to a unanimous decision to offer the Head role to Ralph. There are multiple reasons for this decision including Ralph’s vast experience and wealth of knowledge in Pre-K through 8th-grade schools, his knowledge of and direct involvement in key initiatives currently underway at St. Matthew’s, the exceptional impact he has made in his first six months, and the fact that Ralph became open to the idea of a longer tenure because he has fallen in love with the school and its community.
Ralph is known in the industry as one of the most accomplished PK-8 school heads in the country and his willingness to continue leading our school is a testament to the strength and vibrancy of our community. We look forward to the years ahead.
We express our deep gratitude to Search Committee Co-Chair, Lija McBride, and the Committee for their time, deliberation, and diligent approach to the process. We also would like to thank our entire community for its active role in welcoming finalists and leaving them with a very strong impression of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School.
With that, we hope you all continue to support Ralph with the Mustang enthusiasm and spirit he has felt in his first six months, as he takes on his permanent headship at St Matthew's.
A Message from Ralph Wales, Head of School
Dear St. Matthew’s Community,
It is an honor and a privilege to lead this exceptional school through the 2022-23 school year. Even as these first six months have been impacted by the pandemic, St. Matthew’s multitude of qualities has been evident every day I set foot on the campus.
I like to believe that my experience has honed my capacity to capture the essence of a school’s culture quickly and accurately. If this ability is, in fact, true then I can say that our school enacts the imperative that authentic engagement is the central source of valid, impactful learning. We are a community of professionals and parents that embrace children’s hearts and minds in equal measure. We are steadfast in our conviction that our work is to understand each child fully so that during their school days their spirit soars.
These beliefs match mine and inspire me to do my very best to advance St. Matthew’s toward the attainment of its most cherished, mission-based ideals. What’s more, in these first few months, I have felt an energy - even a hunger - among teachers and parents to ignite action, to take our dreams and reveal them in tangible ways. I like the pulse - and the push - and see our collective partnership as the foundation upon which we will make things happen.
In the next few days, my wife Martha (and our Corgi Harry) will be back “in town” and we both look forward to deepening the connections we have started to grow here. All three of our daughters are enthusiastically planning their visits - post-pandemic - to the Bay Area. We look forward to sharing our newfound attachment to this wonderful school and to this magical Northern California landscape with them.
I am grateful for all the support that I have felt since I have arrived. A St. Matthew’s welcome is something to experience! I am more than ready to serve and support such a committed and caring community.
Head of School