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Armstrong School





Head of School Search

February 4, 2020

Dear Charles Armstrong School Community,

Our Head of School Jessica Miller has shared her intention to conclude her headship at the end of our next school year, in June 2021.   On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to express our heartfelt gratitude to Jessica for her years of dedication, excellent leadership, and unwavering commitment to our school.  Jessica’s consideration in providing this advance notice is best practice in independent schools and enables us to prepare for this transition in leadership.

When the Board of Trustees met Jessica in 2015, her passion for Armstrong’s mission and our program led her to an unexpected new chapter in her long and distinguished career.  Relocating from her home in Rhode Island to California, Jessica at once began to work tirelessly on behalf of our students, faculty and staff, and entire community. Her work over the past five years has exceeded the expectations of the Board of Trustees. Her wisdom, dedication, and extraordinary commitment to teamwork, community, partnership and innovation have taken Armstrong to new heights. Jessica’s accomplishments are many, and perhaps her most enduring legacy will be our exceptional team of faculty and staff who are not only highly capable but also truly inspired. Jessica’s leadership has brought us improvements in faculty support and professional development and created a model of continuous improvement; new diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; and a stronger culture of trust. These changes, along with numerous curriculum and other program upgrades, have significantly enhanced the value of an Armstrong education.  

The selection of our next Head of School is the Board of Trustee’s highest priority and most important responsibility.  Our Search Committee will be led by Katie Storey who is the current Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, a former CAPSO Co-Chair, and a proud parent of an Armstrong student. The Board has retained a well-qualified search consultant, Dr. Mary Seppala of Educators Collaborative, to help guide the process and facilitate input from our community. Mary is the search consultant who worked with us to bring Jessica to our school and brings her personal experience as a former Head of School and teacher as well as a parent of a dyslexic child to this important work. The Board is committed to a search process that is as inclusive and transparent as possible to the entire school community. In this spirit, we will soon provide more information on the details of the process on our website.

Charles Armstrong School enters this search process in an advantaged position and with ample time.  We have a clear and compelling mission, great students, exceptional faculty and staff, an excellent program, supportive and engaged parents, and a healthy financial position.  Also, we have recently approved a strategic plan that will build on our current strengths and address new opportunities. Jessica and the Board look forward to sharing more with you about our strategic plan this spring. We believe, and our search consultant agrees, that our school’s strengths and this clear strategic roadmap will allow us to attract highly qualified candidates to serve as our next Head of School and continue our tradition of excellence in serving our students and families.

There will be many opportunities to celebrate Jessica as we near her departure at the end of June 2021.  For now, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I offer Jessica our great appreciation for all she has done and will do for our school in the next 17 months of her headship and thank all of you for your continued support. 


Beth Springer

Chair, Board of Trustees, Charles Armstrong School

A Letter from Jessica Robins Miller

February 5, 2020

Dear Armstrong Community,

It was with mixed and heartfelt emotions that I let the Board of Trustees know that next year (2020-2021), will be my last year as Head of Charles Armstrong School.   

My decision was not an easy one. I absolutely love leading this incredible community of students, families, faculty and staff. I make this announcement with a deep sense of appreciation for having the opportunity to lead our nationally recognized school for six full years, and for the people who have come into my life as a result.  It has been a privilege to work with our faculty, staff, families and community members on behalf of our students. Together we continue our efforts to unlock the unique potential of every dyslexic child.  Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this work. 

The Board recently approved a new five-year strategic plan, culminating two years of thoughtful and comprehensive work involving the Board, the Leadership Team and many members of our community, including faculty and staff, current and past parents, and members of the wider community. The Leadership Team and I could not be more supportive of the goals that are set, and I look forward to the next 17 months as we launch the plan and lay the foundation for the next 50 years of the school and the next generation of dyslexic learners.

The strategic plan has 5 major goals, with each goal having multiple objectives. Most of our goals are well underway. The full strategic plan will be communicated in the spring, but the broad goals are:  

  • Goal #1: Expand and Deliver our Program with Excellence
  • Goal #2: Prioritize an Outstanding Work Experience for Faculty and Staff
  • Goal #3: Strive to be an Inclusive School Community
  • Goal #4: Increase Awareness of Armstrong Through Greater Marketing and Outreach Efforts
  • Goal #5: Address Short and Long-Term Space Needs

Armstrong is in a strong programmatic and financial state, which is the best position to be in as we embark on the next five years. In addition, we have an outstanding Board of Trustees and Leadership Team who have the expertise, passion and dedication to steer the plan forward with success. 

I am passionate about education that is life changing, and it is a privilege to serve as the Head of a school where students are learning and growing, families are strong partners, the faculty and staff are outstanding, creative and dedicated, and the Leadership stewards the school with a strong sense of purpose, responsibility, thoughtfulness and excellence.

The Board and Search Committee are committed to a smooth transition to the next Head of School. I look forward to the second half of this year and the full 2020-2021 year knowing that the work we do continues to change the trajectory of the lives of our students and their families.

As for what is next for me? June 2021 is a long way away. At the moment, I am concentrating on continuing to lead our school in the same way I have done since 2015, while building the foundation of our strategy work and working closely with the Board to ensure a seamless transition to the next Head of School. As the time gets closer, I will be exploring the next chapter of my professional life, which will definitely include working with children who learn differently and their families.  

With deep gratitude,

Jessica Miller

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Charles Armstrong School
1405 Solana Drive
Belmont, CA 94002

Main Line: 650-592-7570

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