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Announcing Calhoun's Next Head of School

The Calhoun Board of Trustees is proud to announce Celeste Herrera will be Calhoun's next Head of School, beginning July 1, 2024.

Celeste has been an educator and leader in progressive education for over fifteen years, helping multiple schools translate instructional excellence into relevant, adaptive education. Her spirit, intellect and alignment with the values of the Calhoun community were immediately evident in her recent visit to the school. Celeste is an incredible leader with a strong vision that will bring Calhoun into the future. 

From the beginning of her career in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania to her current position as Assistant Head of The Dalton School, Celeste’s hallmark has been partnering across constituencies to establish a clear vision and leading with clarity and compassion to deliver results. Throughout her work, Celeste’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and to the principles of progressive education has led the way.

At Dalton, where she will continue to serve as Assistant Head through the end of this academic year, her work has included managing daily operations, co-chairing the facilities master planning committee, expanding institutional partnerships, and working closely with the Parent Association, the Chief Advancement Officer and the Head of School in service to Dalton’s mission. As the former Assistant Head for Academics and the High School Director, Celeste supervised K-12 academic departments and the divisional administrative teams. For seven years, Celeste was also the Director of College Counseling.

Celeste is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a dual degree in English and anthropology, and she holds a M.S. Ed. in psychological services from the University of Pennsylvania.

In a broader capacity, Celeste is a founder of the NYC Interschool Wellbeing Symposium, a member of the NYC Culinary and Sustainability education cohort, serves on the Cooperman Scholars Advisory Board and considers herself deeply committed to expanding educational access and opportunity in New York City. Throughout her career, Celeste has been known as an educator who leads with energy, empathy and her trademark can-do spirit. 

Celeste writes “I am honored to lead Calhoun, a school I have long admired as a foundational voice in progressive education. Together, we will inspire our students, celebrate our faculty and build community among our families and alumni. Though my appointment as Head of School fills me with excitement, my role as an incoming Calhoun parent is as important. My husband, Ken, and I are eager for Cosme (5), and our twins, Araceli and B (10), to grow alongside their teachers, classmates and our school. We can't wait to see you soon!" 

"I could not be more pleased to welcome Celeste Herrera as Calhoun's next Head of School," states current Board Chair Jon Brayshaw. "Although we encountered many talented and impressive candidates during the search process, those of us who got to spend time with Celeste immediately recognized that she is not only an experienced and passionate educator but also someone who shares a deep affinity for Calhoun's mission. Our school places a high value on the power of student agency, diverse viewpoints, student/teacher relationships, and collaboration across our community, and I have no doubt that Celeste will be highly effective in fostering this ethos as she leads us through Calhoun's next chapter."

We are all deeply grateful to Steve Solnick for his simply superb leadership that brought us to this point. Steve is fully committed to partnering with Celeste to ensure a successful transition.

Please join us in welcoming Celeste Herrera to Calhoun.

In partnership, 

Calhoun Board of Trustees

For more information about the Head of School search process, visit our website.


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