On May 7, Head of School Rob Hereford announced Andrew Wooden as Laguna's Interim Head of Upper School for the 2019-20 school year.
Devoting his career to working in independent schools, Wooden has spent more than 40 years in a wide range of positions including teacher, coach, Dean of Admissions, and Interim as well as Permanent Head of School.
Currently, Wooden is Interim Head of School at The Buckley School in Los Angeles, an 830 student, K-12 independent day school. Most recently, he served as Head of School at Marymount of Santa Barbara, leading the school to record-high enrollment and tripling the size of its endowment over his seven-year tenure. Previously, Wooden was Interim Head of School at Saint James’ Episcopal School in Los Angeles, leading the school during a period of transition. Prior to that role, he served as Assistant Head of School and Head of School at Bosque School in Albuquerque, where he helped to develop the city’s newest independent school into a highly respected college preparatory school with an emphasis on environmental science and community service. Wooden began his career at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, where he taught English and served as the school’s first Director of Admission and Financial Aid before spending 12 years at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut, serving as Director of Admission and Financial Aid and a member of the Senior Deans Council, among other roles.
Having earned a master’s degree from Yale Divinity School and an honorary doctorate from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, Wooden spent a sabbatical year at Yale studying education and leadership. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine and graduated from Williston Northampton School in Massachusetts. A native of Maine, Wooden has been married to his wife, Molly, for more than 30 years. He is an avid sailor and squash player and currently serves as a Board Member of the California Association of Independent Schools and Vice Chair of ASSIST Scholars, which helps enable academically talented international students to attend American independent schools. Laguna has been fortunate to host two outstanding ASSIST scholars over the past two years.
"I have known Andrew for over 10 years since we were both at schools in the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest, and I have always valued his wisdom, insight, and friendship," says Hereford. "He reached out to welcome me to Santa Barbara before Amanda and I moved here and we enjoyed getting together frequently to collaborate as fellow Santa Barbara school leaders."
Wooden can't wait to get started at Laguna, effective July 1, and looks forward to immersing himself in school life next year. "I’m confident that our Upper School will be well-served by his thoughtful and sage leadership as we launch a nationwide search for a permanent Head of Upper School this fall," says Hereford.
Wooden will be visiting campus before the end of the school year to meet the community informally.