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Head of School Search History

On July 1, 2019, Mary Rose Guerin will become the Head of School at Forest Ridge. Board of Trustees Chair, Campbell Mathewson, announced Guerin’s appointment in June 2018 in a letter to the Forest Ridge community.

About Mary Rose Guerin, Incoming Head of School

Mary Rose Guerin is the current Principal of Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart in Chicago, IL. Prior to her appointment as Principal in 2016, she served for eight years as the school’s Assistant Principal and International Baccalaureate Coordinator. With 15 years experience in Sacred Heart education, Mary Rose has taught high school Literature, History, and Writing courses, has worked as a director of curriculum and an instructional coach, and has led numerous professional development workshops for both pre-service and acting educators.
As a forward-thinking, visionary leader, dedicated to the empowerment of young women, Mary Rose has been instrumental in advancing the school’s mission through the development of a rigorous and dynamic program. During her tenure, Mary Rose has led the school through the implementation of a series of new initiatives aimed at providing access to high quality education to all students. Among such programs are a wall-to-wall International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, the Sophie Scholars Inclusive Education Program, and a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS). Recently, Mary Rose was selected as a leadership fellow through the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Transformational Educational Leadership where she receives robust professional development and coaching from some of the most progressive educators and leaders in the country.

Beyond being Principal of Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart, Mary Rose enjoys spending time with her husband, Quinn, and two children Elise (4 years old) and Mack (1 year old). They love all things Autumn, playing board games, and entertaining family and friends. Additionally, Mary Rose is passionate about strong coffee and true crime podcasts.

Head of School Transition Announcement

September 4, 2018

Many of you participated in our process since October 2017 in finding a new Head of School for Forest Ridge. Thank you for your time, feedback and commitment to Forest Ridge. In June, the Board of Trustees appointed Mary Rose Guerin to be the 24th Head of our school. Mary Rose comes to us from the Josephinum Academy, one of our sister schools in Chicago, and is well versed in the Sacred Heart traditions, mission and values. We are excited to welcome Mary Rose and her family; her husband, Quinn Guerin, and children, Elise (4 years) and Mack (1 year) to the school and community during the coming year.
We are also very grateful to Julie Thenell Grasseschi for her outstanding commitment to Forest Ridge as Acting Head of School during this transitional time. She has shown her deep devotion to the education of girls and young women in the Sacred Heart tradition and we are most grateful for her excellent leadership. Julie will continue as Acting Head of School until Mary Rose begins her tenure on July 1, 2019. This is the normal schedule for head of school transitions given the cycle of the school year.
During the coming year we will periodically provide you with information regarding the Transition, including background information about Mary Rose via our website (www.forestridge.org), email and social media. We will also be arranging time for our community to meet Mary Rose beginning with our student body and our faculty, staff and administration in late September. There will also be opportunities for “meet-and-greets” with current and prospective families, alumnae and the broader community throughout the year.
Times of change are often times for renewal and opportunities for new ideas. Those of us who have had the pleasure of meeting, listening to and interacting with Mary Rose are uniformly impressed and excited with the prospects her Headship will bring. If you have ideas or questions, please feel free to contact me or other members of the Transition Committee. Our common email address is: BoardTC@forestridge.org. Transition Committee members include:
  • Amy Anderson, Parent (‘13), Trustee, Chair of the Head of School Search Committee
  • Sr. Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ, Head of Conference of the Sacred Heart Education, Former Head of School, Forest Ridge and Carrollton
  • Tom Manion, Retired Forest Ridge Art Teacher
  • Darci Moreau, Parent (’22), Parent Association President
  • Casey Hall O’Rourke ‘90, Parent (‘24), Director of Institutional Advancement
  • Jean Orvis, Founding Head of Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences, Consultant to the Transition and Search Committees
  • Anne Romano Sarewitz ’71, Alumna
  • Tina Sarin, Parent (’19), Parent Association High School coordinator
  • Bill Uyeda, Parent (’17 and ’20), Board of Trustee Member, Chair of the Head of School Transition Committee
With best regards,
Bill Uyeda
Chair, Head of School Transition Committee

Start of School Year Update

August 24, 2018

Dear Forest Ridge Community,
On behalf of the Forest Ridge Board of Trustees, it is a pleasure to welcome you to the 2018 - 2019 school year! I hope you enjoyed a summer of fun and new adventures as well as some time for relaxation and reflection. This will be an exciting year for Forest Ridge as we prepare for the arrival of Mary Rose Guerin who will become the school’s next Head of School on July 1, 2019.
A year ago, when Mark Pierotti stepped down as Head of School, the Board embarked on a two-year interim period with the first year dedicated to a search for the next head of school and the second year devoted to a transition period in preparation for the arrival of a new head. We were incredibly fortunate that Julie Thenell Grasseschi agreed to step in as Acting Head during this interim period. The Board is deeply grateful to Julie for the courage and stamina she demonstrated this past year and for her organizational and administrative talents that have significantly strengthened Forest Ridge operations.
As we now enter the transition year, Julie remains fully in charge as Acting Head of School.   In addition to managing the school’s day-to-day operations, she will continue her fine work on refining and improving the 5-12 structure, preparing for the NWAIS accreditation in the spring, and supporting the school’s transition activities.
The Board is committed to an orderly leadership transition that protects the Sacred Heart mission and identity of Forest Ridge and the quality and integrity of the school’s learning environment. Many thanks go out to Trustee Bill Uyeda (Hana, ’17 and Koko, ‘20), chair of the Transition Committee. Please be on the lookout for a letter from Bill to the community that explains the goals, role and responsibilities of the Committee and introduces its members.
We are excited about the future of Forest Ridge with Mary Rose’s passion and energy for Sacred Heart and all-girls education and her inclusive, collaborative leadership style. We announced Mary Rose’s appointment to the internal Forest Ridge community in June and will make a more formal, public announcement early this fall.
While overseeing the Transition will be the Board’s priority, we will continue to focus on the long-term mission and vision of this wonderful, 111-year old school.
I wish you all the best for a productive and happy school year.
Campbell Mathewson
Chair, Board of Trustees

Announcement from the Chair of the Board

June 15, 2018

Dear Members of the Forest Ridge Community,

It is with great enthusiasm that the Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart Board of Trustees announces the appointment of Mary Rose Guerin as Forest Ridge’s next Head of School, beginning July 1, 2019.

Mary Rose is currently the Principal of Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart in Chicago where her forward-thinking and visionary leadership, commitment to the holistic development of young women, and talent for uniting a diverse community, contributed to the recognition of Josephinum’s reputation as an excellent academic institution. She holds a M.Ed., in Leadership Education from DePaul University and is a Fellow in the Center for Transformational Educational Leadership at the University of Notre Dame. Mary Rose first became acquainted with Forest Ridge when she served on the 2016 Sacred Heart Commission on Goals (SHCOG) visiting team. She is drawn to Forest Ridge by its steadfast commitment to empowering young women to change the world, as well as its reputation of being a pioneer in the field of education. She is excited about the possibility of leading an innovative community, dedicated to creating cutting-edge opportunities for young women.

The Forest Ridge community owes a deep debt of gratitude to Julie Thenell Grasseschi who serves as our Acting Head of School and will continue to hold that position through the 2018-2019 school year. With her characteristic courage, dedication, and love for Forest Ridge, Julie assumed the position when the school needed her most. Under her leadership, Forest Ridge strengthened administrative capacity (including the hiring of a Director of Finance and Operations, Director of Institutional Advancement and Director of Teaching and Learning), gained organizational efficiencies through the grades 5-12 structure, and dramatically improved school finances. Her administrative talents served the school well through a time of change and uncertainty. Julie’s steadfast hand on the tiller has, in the words of many community members, “righted the ship,” positioning Forest Ridge to set a bold course for the future.

During the coming school year, the Board, Julie and Mary Rose will work closely together with the community to plan and assure a smooth transition. In closing, the Board thanks Amy Anderson, Search Committee Chair, and members of the Search Committee for the careful and thorough search that brings us to the threshold of this exciting new beginning.


Campbell Mathewson
Chair, Board of Trustees


March 23, 2018

We are pleased to announce that the search for a new Head of School has commenced. We anticipate that a new Head of School will join us in July 2019. 

The Search Committee is excited to identify a candidate for appointment by our Board of Trustees. We are committed to providing you with ongoing communication. Updates will be posted to this page. 

We are honored to have the privilege of ensuring that the next Head of School understands the philosophy of the Goals and Criteria and embodies those characteristics that are important to our community.

Amy Anderson
Chair, Head of School Search Committee

Head of School Job Description

Mission and Background
Forest Ridge is a highly respected all girls’ school of the Sacred Heart with a rich 110- year old history and tradition. The school is one of an international group of Catholic schools and colleges founded by Saint Madeline Sophie Barat and the Religious of the Sacred Heart. At the core of Sacred Heart education are the Goals and Criteria, the principles that express the intentions and hopes of this 218-year tradition. The essence of the Sacred Heart School is that it be deeply concerned for each student’s total development—spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical—that it emphasize serious study, educate to social responsibility, and lay the foundation of strong faith.

The school is located on a hilltop overlooking Lake Washington and the Seattle—Bellevue Metropolitan area, one of the most vibrant, entrepreneurial and successful regions on the Pacific Rim. The school seeks a smart, agile, critical thinker and leader who will align the school with the spirit, dynamism and potential of the region.

The current campus was built in 1971 when the school relocated from central Seattle to Bellevue and consists of classroom buildings, the Lee Theater and Performing Arts Center, and Shumway field. In 2006, the school added a new High School Building and the Sacred Heart Center.

Forest Ridge currently enrolls 300 girls in grades 5-12, including 26 boarding students (high school only). The Forest Ridge community is diverse, representing different ethnicities, races, cultural and faith backgrounds. Thirty percent of the school’s population are Catholic.

Position Summary
The role of the Head is to establish and maintain a total learning environment in which the human, physical and financial resources of the school are generated, coordinated and directed toward the effective implementation of the Goals and Criteria and the school’s strategic priorities in accord with the policies and direction set by the school’s Board of Trustees. The successful candidate is Catholic and possesses demonstrated interpersonal, communication, marketing, fundraising, facilities planning, and financial management skills.

To see the full position description and required qualifications, please click here.

Application Process
The new Head will assume responsibility on July 1, 2019. Interested and qualified candidates should submit electronically in one email and as separate documents (preferably PDF’s) the following materials:
  • a cover letter expressing interest in the position
  • a current resume
  • a leadership and philosophy statement
  • a list of 5 professional references with name, phone number and email address of each
Inquiries regarding this position are strictly confidential and references will not be contacted without permission.

Materials should be directed to:

Jean Orvis
Search Consultant

Application Deadline: April 27, 2018

Transition Committee

Bill Uyeda
Chair of the Head of School Transition Committee

Amy Anderson
Parent of Alumna

Suzanne Cooke, RSCJ
Head of Conference of Sacred Heart Education
Former Head of Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, Miami (1998-2015)
Former Head of Forest Ridge (1990-1998)

Tom Manion
Former Faculty Member (1989-2017), Retired

Tina Sarin
Current Parent

Casey Hall O'Rourke 90
Director of Institutional Advancement
Current Parent

Darci Moreau
Current Parent
Parent Association President

Anne Romano Sarewitz ’71
Independent School Consultant
Community Member

Jean Orvis
Search/Transition Consultant
Former Head of Seattle Academy (1983-2009), Retired
Former Member and Chair, NAIS Commission on Accreditation (2000-2010)
Conference on Sacred Heart Education (2015-present)

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