On behalf of the Maumee Valley Country Day School Board of Trustees, and the Head of School Search Committee, we are delighted to announce the selection and appointment of Lynn Casto as Maumee Valley’s Head of School, effective July 1, 2018. Lynn comes to us from the Sanford School in Hockessin Delaware, where she has served as Upper School Head since 2013.
“Lynn has a passion for education, a deep-rooted belief in the life-changing impact independent school education can have on a child, and a moral compass around always doing what is in the best interest of the student. These are the same shared beliefs that bind our diverse Maumee Valley community and give me confidence that Lynn is the right choice to be our next Head of School,” said Amy Yustick, VP of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Head of School Search Committee.
Maumee Valley’s vision of a personal, experiential, and global education resonates with Lynn. “I love the student-centered focus of the school. That’s originally what drew me to MVCDS -- the focus on the students. It’s a place where each child can define his or her passion, discover it, and explore it,” she said. “That learning by doing is very much ingrained in how I ran my own classroom as a teacher and what I cultivated in my kids.”
Those same values shape her leadership. At Sanford, Lynn was tasked with figuring out how to retain students who were leaving in large numbers after Middle School. She implemented a new schedule with longer class times, added 21 electives, and even taught an AP Art History class to demonstrate experiential learning in the context of an AP curriculum. Lynn also worked closely with admissions to manage the transition better between the Middle and Upper Schools. Within four years, the school environment had improved enough that enrollment grew by 19 percent.
Through these changes, Lynn’s style won over the loyalty of the faculty around her. “Lynn’s style is thoughtful, always having the best interests of students and the school in mind. Her approach is one of integrity and hard work, and is always coming at things from a collaborative place,” said Sanford’s Head of School Mark Anderson. She is also unflappable in the face of whatever challenges come her way, he said. “That is when she has impressed me most. When the temperature rises and times are challenging, she steps to the plate with class and diplomacy. In fair and even-handed ways, she gets all the parties to the right spot time and time again.”
Lynn understands the needs for strong relationships, both inside and outside of the school. She served on board committees for development and strategic planning, and she visited China for two weeks where she forged stronger ties to families of Chinese students.
She also brings an impressive background in independent school education to Maumee Valley. She attended the Columbus School for Girls, discovering a dual love for athletics and the arts. At Davidson College, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Art History while playing NCAA Division I Lacrosse. She went on to earn two masters degrees in education, one in arts education from Ohio State University, and a second in private school leadership from the prestigious Teachers College at Columbia University. She has taught and coached at the Brookwood School in Georgia, and at Charlotte Country Day School in North Carolina.
Head of School Gary Boehm expressed confidence in Lynn’s stewardship. “I think parents can feel reassured that they have an experienced independent school educator who shares our enthusiasm for MV2020. I feel confident that she will hit the ground running. Knowing that the school is going to be in good hands, knowing the work we have done will be carried forward, gives me a lot of comfort.”
Upon announcing Lynn as the school’s next Head of School, Board President Matt Buchanan stated, “We followed an extensive and rigorous process, with internal leadership guided by outside experts. We received and considered input from all aspects of our wonderful community. Maumee Valley is happy to welcome Lynn to our school and to the Northwest Ohio community.”
Lynn said she was glad and humbled to be joining a community she had come to admire. During her visit, she said she was “taken aback by the genuine nature of the place and the authenticity of the faculty. I was really impressed by the faculty, and by the student engagement and exploration that I saw happening among the kids.” She was also inspired by her time with Middle and Upper School students. “The students were very articulate and able to clearly express their ideas. They have a lot of confidence. That solidified for me that MVCDS was doing the right things for kids.”
We are pleased to welcome Lynn and her family to the Maumee Valley Country Day School community. Lynn’s husband, Keith, works as a business analyst with Fidelity Information Systems. He is also an avid road biker. The couple has two sons who will attend MVCDS’s Middle School next year: Caleb will be in 8th grade, and Ian will be in 7th grade.
The board would like to thank the whole community for the participation and feedback so many of you provided as we undertook this search. We would also like to thank Gary Boehm for his ongoing vision and leadership through this search process. His shoes will be difficult to fill, yet the educational trajectory he has given Maumee Valley will serve as a strong legacy to build on for many years to come.
Finally, the board would like to recognize the hard work and leadership of the search committee through what has been a long and detailed process of getting to know our needs and who might best fill them. We are thankful for your commitment and service to the school.