Dear MSN community,

After months of working together the Head of School Search Committee is excited and proud to announce that Mark Dansereau has been offered and has accepted the Headship at our school beginning Summer 2017.

I want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who joined us during the site visit days. Your observations and feedback helped to inform our decision.

The search committee conducted a thorough nationwide search and upheld recommendations from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS.) We consulted hiring firms and other resources from the independent school world as needed during our search process.

Mark brings with him nearly 30 years of educational experience, much of it within the Montessori pedagogy.  He is currently the Director of the Middle School program at The Montessori School in Wilton, CT. Mark was a Co-Head of school for nearly 10 years and a Head of School at that same institution for one year.

With the support of the Board of Trustees we feel confident that Mark will uphold the values of our Montessori school and will confidently guide us into the future by:

  • Leading our school with clear, calm energy, and intelligence
  • Exciting and challenging teachers and staff with his depth of Montessori understanding and significant experience in faculty and staff support in his previous post
  • Inspiring and centering our community with his focused, hardworking manner
  • Handling difficult situations and supporting families with compassion
  • Navigating institutional change with a seeking heart and a launchpad of prior experience in diversity & equity matters and outreach

Here is a note from Mark:

Dear Members of the Montessori School of Northampton Community,

 I am honored and excited to be joining you as head of school starting next summer.  I am humbled to follow Susan Swift and be part of MSN’s now 40+ year history. I look forward to meeting and getting to know you all, to learning about MSN’s lived identity and mission, to rolling up my sleeves and taking up the big work…with the excellent school board, the can do anything required administration, the talented and dedicated faculty…your children. 

 My wife Helen and I are excited to come to our educational homes.  I was born in Worcester and started my formal education in kindergarten in Granby, never to leave school since!  Helen was a Latin American literature major at Smith College and uses her fluency in Spanish every day in the emergency room at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital.  Her enthusiasm for our move back to the Pioneer Valley bolsters my confidence in the right fit of this big life change for the both of us.

 The Head of School Search Committee and all the members of the MSN community that I met on my two-day visit to the school in November, especially the children and young adolescents, were so generous and welcoming, open and thoughtful about matters great and small at the Montessori School of Northampton.  It is clear MSN is a school that has its rudder deep in the water regarding how it serves the growth and well-being of its children…its reason for being.

 While I am fully engaged in my responsibilities at my current school for the next six months, I look forward to getting a running start learning more about MSN, its history, the hopes and aspirations of its stakeholders, news of the opening of your new building/campus. I expect to be in close contact with members of the school community over the coming months as a designated transition committee deems appropriate. 

 All the best,


I invite you to join me, and our committee, in warmly welcoming Mark and his wife Helen to our school and community.

My very best and happy holidays to you and your families,

Kelly Minton

Chair, Head of School Search Committee