Head of School Announcement

Dear Blue Oak School Community,
The Blue Oak School Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Daniel Schwartz has been appointed to serve as Blue Oak’s next Head of School.  This appointment, effective July 1, 2017, is the result of a thorough national search that yielded a wide-ranging pool of highly qualified candidates. Dan clearly distinguished himself from this impressive group; he is a proven leader and exceptional educator who shares the progressive values and commitment to excellence that are central to the founding mission and culture of Blue Oak School. 
Dan will come to Blue Oak after seven years as Head of School at Baker Demonstration School, a pre-K through grade eight independent school of 365 students located just outside of Chicago in Wilmette, Illinois. Prior to this, he served 12 years as Washburne Middle School Principal and four years as Assistant Principal in the Winnetka Public Schools. Dan has published articles in educational journals, including Schools, Middle Ground, and Education for Democracy, and has presented at numerous conferences. He currently serves on the Board of the National Progressive Education Network, the Board of the North Dakota Study Group, and the Professional Advisory Board of Erika’s Lighthouse, a not-for-profit organization that educates communities about teen depression. Dan and his wife, Charla Reinganum, an environmental engineer, are the proud parents of two daughters: a fifth grade teacher in the Chicago Public Schools and an aspiring artist, also in Chicago.
The selection of the Head of School is one of the greatest responsibilities of trusteeship, and all of us in the Blue Oak School family can be proud of the great care and diligence that took place throughout the search process.  Our Board benefited greatly from the superb guidance of our consultant Marcus Hurlbut as well as the greater Blue Oak School community, including our dedicated Search Committee members and all of the alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends who submitted suggestions, recommendations and feedback to the Committee. When combining your input with the detailed diligence performed over many hours these last five months by the Committee, the choice was very clear:  Dan combines strong experience as a sitting head with a career dedicated to translating progressive concepts effectively to the classroom making him a perfect fit for the next chapter of Blue Oak School
In terms of immediate next steps, members of the Board are working collaboratively with administrators, faculty, parents, and alumni on several of the School’s priority initiatives to help ensure a smooth transition, and we will soon be communicating further with you about those exciting developments as well as possible opportunities to meet with Dan in Napa later in the summer and fall.
Again, on behalf of our Board and Search Committee, we appreciate your guidance and support throughout the search and transition process. We are honored and very excited that Dan will be our next Head of School; please help us welcome Dan and Charla to Blue Oak!

Kathy Zelazny
Chair, Board of Trustees

Chris Wendel
Chair, Search Committee

For more than a century progressive educators have touted the importance of creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration - what is currently called the “4 Cs.” 

So too have we long embraced a hands-on approach to learning that integrates the disciplines by challenging students to ask questions, research real-world problems, and design and build their own solutions.

More about our progressive mission

Major Dates 2016-17

Blue Oak teachers are skilled and artful instructors who care deeply about their subject matter and about the development of children.