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Brentwood Announces New Head of School

With great enthusiasm and gratitude, Brentwood School’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Dr. Tim Cottrell has accepted our invitation to join us as our next Head of School, beginning in July 2025.

Dr. Cottrell is currently entering his 13th year as Head of School at Iolani School, which serves 2,200 K-12 students in Honolulu. Early in our search process, as we considered hundreds of applicants from across the nation and the world, it became obvious how well-suited Dr. Cottrell is to head Brentwood School. We are delighted to welcome a leader of his talent and accomplishments, an experienced educator who quickly came to understand — and embrace — Brentwood’s culture and core values.

Our search began in January, after Dr. Mike announced that the 2024-25 school year would be his last. Nine trustees joined our Head of School Search Committee, conducting a thorough and careful search with assistance from Educational Directions, an education-focused recruitment firm. From late May into early June, many of you attended our finalist forums, providing invaluable feedback that guided our search. The involvement of the Brentwood community was as impressive as the talented field of candidates. Faculty, staff, parents, and alumni packed our forums, asking insightful questions and sharing wisdom through follow-up surveys. Over and over, we heard praise for Dr. Cottrell’s experience; his thoughtful and relatable approach; his focus on students; his obvious care for relationships and community-building; and his ability to shepherd change with stability.


The Search Process

Since its inception 50 years ago, Brentwood School has had only four heads of school. Dr. Tim Cottrell will be the fifth. This leadership stability — along with our admired and long-tenured faculty and administration, recognized academic program, strong community, and beautiful campus — distinguishes Brentwood and made it appealing to leadership candidates.

After interviewing four top-tier search firms, the Board of Trustees’ Head of School Search Committee engaged Educational Directions to oversee the search, given the depth of their experience with independent school leadership recruitment and their reputation for excellence. They worked under the direction of the Head of School Search Committee to consider hundred of applicants.

Input from our community was critical to the process, and we are grateful to our families, faculty, staff, and alumni for providing valuable feedback that helped guide the search. 

Head of School Search Committee

Though the ultimate choice of a new leader is entrusted to the full Brentwood School Board of Trustees, the detailed search process was led by a Head of School Search Committee, comprised of nine trustees in leadership roles (read bios):

Adam Cohn ’89 | Board of Trustees Chair, Search Committee Co-Chair
Laura Dudley | Board of Trustees Vice Chair, Search Committee Co-Chair
Tom Gordon | Trustee, former Board of Trustees Chair, Search Committee Co-Chair
Kyle Hoshide | Secretary of the Board
Morgan Mallory ’01 | Co-Chair of the DEI Committee
Sabina Nathanson | Chair of the Advancement Committee
Ben Nazarian | Chair of the Investment Committee
Nina Stanford | Chair of the Institutional Goals Committee
Dan Stern | Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee

Previous Communications from the Board of Trustees and Head of School Regarding the Leadership Transition

Search Process, January 26, 2024 
Transition Announcement, January 18, 2024

A Message from Dr. Cottrell

It is with great excitement and honor that I accept the position of Head of School, beginning in the 2025-26 school year. I am deeply grateful to the entire Brentwood community — the Board of Trustees, Search Committee, Dr. Mike and Megan, the administration, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni — for the opportunity to engage in the search process and learn about Brentwood School. 



January 29, 2024

Head of School Search survey sent to full Brentwood School community

February 5, 2024

Survey responses due from constituents

February 12-13, 2024

Educational Directions visits Brentwood’s campuses and interviews community members

March - MAY 2024

Educational Directions begins the candidate recruitment process, and the Head of School Search Committee conducts interviews

MAY - JUNE 2024

Finalists interview and visit campus.

JUNE 28, 2024

The new Head of School is announced. 

July 1, 2025

Dr. Tim Cottrell begins as Brentwood's Head of School.