Head of School Search

On March 22 , after a nationwide search, Buxton’s Board of Trustees has appointed John Barrengos as our next Head of School.

On behalf of the Buxton School Board of Trustees, we are delighted to announce the appointment of John Barrengos as our new Head of School at Buxton. With a wealth of experience and a proven track record in education leadership, John joins us from The Putney School in VT, where he has served as the Director of Admission & Financial Aid since 2013.

At Putney, John played a pivotal role in repositioning the school, elevating its strategic objectives, refining marketing strategies, and enhancing communication and outreach efforts. His leadership resulted in significant growth in enrollment, a tightened acceptance rate, and a notable increase in net tuition revenue. John also actively contributed to the school community through teaching, advising students, and serving as a mentor.

Prior to his role at Putney, John served as the Head of School at The Independent Day School in Middlefield, CT. During his tenure, he demonstrated exceptional leadership in overseeing operations, enhancing educational programs, improving fiscal sustainability, and introducing innovative curricula and student-led initiatives.

John brings impressive academic credentials to his new role, holding a Doctorate in Organizations & Leadership, along with Masters degrees in Educational Administration and Private School Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Tufts University in Medford, MA.

Our dedicated Search Committee worked in conjunction with Zack Lehman from DovetailED, whose expertise and collaboration were invaluable during the entire search process.

Please join us in welcoming John to the Buxton community as we embark on an exciting new chapter of growth and excellence for Buxton!

~Jessica Mezzacappa

Board President Elect


Jessica Mezzacappa (Board President Elect) 


 John Barrengos, Ed. D.

“I am filled with joy and purpose as I look forward to joining you this summer as Buxton’s Head of School.

When Kate and I visited a few weeks ago, we felt an immediate and powerful connection with students, faculty, parents, staff, and trustees. The community engaged us in substantive discussions about dreams, priorities, and challenges. Folks were eager to share their thoughts and feelings about the school with us; we experienced it in conversations, over breakfast and lunch, and during the DC Trip presentations. The love folks have for Buxton is palpable.

We were lucky to steal back to campus after our official visit to watch the magical first act of Little Shop of Horrors! We left campus buoyed by the dedication and conviction of the adults and the joy and curiosity of the students.

It feels easy to imagine joining and learning in the dynamic community at Buxton. I am so eager to spend time with students, teachers, parents, staff, trustees, and alumni to learn directly from you all about the difference Buxton has made in your lives. I look forward to these conversations that will be essential to shaping my efforts to help Buxton thrive.”

John Barrengos, Ed. D.

Search Timeline

  • January 16, 2024 | Search Launched
  • January 16 – February 1, 2024 | Application Period
  • January 22 – January 31, 2024 | All-Constituent Survey Period
  • February 2 – February 7, 2024 | Applicant Review
  • February 15 – 16, 2024 | Semifinalist Interviews (via Zoom)
  • March 3 – 8, 2024 | Finalist On-Campus Visits
  • April 2024 | Appointment Announcement


What is the role of The Leadership Committee of the Board of Trustees?

Buxton School’s Board of Trustees embraces our paramount responsibilities of both ensuring the School’s long-term sustainability and supporting the School’s leadership in delivering on our mission. To satisfy these primary duties, the Board has launched a search for Buxton’s next head of school. While the Leadership and the Search Committee have clearly defined roles and responsibilities, there will be opportunities for the entire Buxton community to be involved.

Why conduct a national Head of School Search?

The Board of Trustees is committed to a process that is thorough, fair, inclusive, and transparent. We recognize the importance of upholding the integrity of the search process and making a well-informed decision regarding the hiring of the next Head of School. To ensure this, we are committed to conducting a national search that adheres to the best practices established by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). As stewards of the School, it is the Board’s fiduciary responsibility to appoint a new head of school who will secure the future of the Buxton School.

What is the role of DovetailED?

The Leadership of the Board of Trustees has engaged DovetailED Talent Sourcing, a nationally recognized search firm known for its innovative and impactful leadership search model. Their expertise in independent schools, familiarity with Buxton’s mission, and extensive network of capable educators will guide us in selecting the ideal head of school to lead Buxton.

Will internal candidates be considered?

Yes. Internal candidates should ideally go through a process that aligns with that of external candidates.

How can members of the Buxton community participate?

We deeply value the voices of our Buxton community members. We highly encourage you to share your feedback with us through the all-constituent survey. We want to hear your thoughts on the qualities, skills, and characteristics you desire in the next head of school. Your input is vital as we strive for growth and change. We also welcome nominations for consideration. Please send your nominations to Zack Lehman at DovetailED via email at zack@dovetailedsourcing.com. Additionally, the community can expect to learn about and meet with finalist candidates in early March. This will be a unique opportunity for the community to interact with the candidates and provide feedback.

Can I nominate someone for the Head of School position?

If you would like to nominate a candidate, please contact Zack Lehman at DovetailED by email at zack@dovetailedsourcing.com.

Can I contact the Board of Trustees with additional questions?

Feel free to contact the board with questions at HeadSearch@BuxtonSchool.org

Community Communications

Search Committee

  • John Benjamin ‘86 (BSAA Board Member)
  • Josh Fincke ‘93
  • Katherine Finkelstein (Faculty)
  • Brian Ford ‘09
  • Nancy Glowa ‘73
  • John Guenther ‘61
  • Frank Jackson (Co-Director and Faculty)
  • Jessie Mezzacappa ‘85
  • Rebecca Plona (current parent)
  • Zoe Rosenbloom ‘10 (Faculty and Trustee)
  • Marco Williams ‘75
  • Sarah Workneh (Trustee)

Start typing and press Enter to search