Head of School Search
A Message From Board Chair, Diem Dang
Dear Pegasus Community,
The Board of Trustees is thrilled to announce that it voted to appoint Dr. Regina McDuffie as The Pegasus School's next Head of School, succeeding Jason Lopez upon his retirement. The Board based its decision on the Head of School Search Committee's recommendation after it started a national search process last spring that involved an extensive application, multiple interviews, background checks, campus visits, input from all community members, and reference calls. Regina has accepted the position and is excited to join the Pegasus community on July 1, 2024.
Regina served for eleven years as Head of School for The Rhoades School in Carlsbad, CA, and, previously, as Academic Dean and Lower School Principal at St. Margaret's Episcopal in San Juan Capistrano, CA. As a lifelong learner and passionate educator, she earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at Fordham University, taught education courses at the University of California, San Diego and Iona University, and, earlier in her career, social studies in private schools.
As an educator for 27 years, Regina has vast experience in school operations, strategic planning, and community building. Her former colleagues describe her as caring, efficient, and decisive, a "visionary" in her field. Committed to a positive school culture where faculty and staff feel supported, she is an expert team builder with strong collaborative skills and a deep understanding of the curriculum.
Regina understands the importance and complexity of fostering educational environments where intellectual curiosity and compassion are intertwined. Her former students report having a sense of belonging by feeling valued, respected, and supported in an academically rigorous setting. For her, Pegasus is where "academic growth is harmoniously balanced with the development of social skills and emotional well-being for both students and adults." Her background equips her to advance the Pegasus mission and uphold its values as the place where bright minds soar.
Regina's appointment builds on Jason's immeasurable impact at Pegasus after what will be ten years as Head of School and 35 years in education. Jason will continue to lead Pegasus through June 2024. Later this year, we will have opportunities to celebrate him and the school's success under his leadership. To ensure a smooth transition, the Board will form a transition committee to assist in Regina's successful onboarding and to create a timeline of opportunities for all community members to welcome her to Pegasus.
The Board would like to express its deepest gratitude to Marc Schneider, Chair of the Head of School Search committee, and members of the search committee: Chressa Fancher, Nancy Wilder, Meredith Chandra, Darin Glasser, Rob Pettis, and Edi Thimons for their months-long effort and faithful attention to the search process. The Board would also like to thank the entire Pegasus community for supporting the search process that brought Regina to our community. Lastly, we appreciate our search consultants, Jerry Larson and Amy Richards from Educational Directions, for their guidance.
Please join the Board in extending a warm welcome to Regina.
Chair, Board of Trustees
A Letter From Incoming Head of School
Dr. Regina McDuffie
Dear Pegasus Community,
I am honored and thrilled to join The Pegasus School as your Head of School in July 2024; I am beaming with excitement, gratitude, and a deep sense of purpose. This institution’s rich history, its commitment to excellence, and the dedication of its remarkable community have set the stage for a vibrant future. I firmly believe that The Pegasus School’s wholistic approach, with its equal emphasis on the development of social skills and emotional intelligence alongside academic excellence, is not only essential for the future success of our students but also critical in nurturing the potential of bright children.
We are entering a significant moment in the life of The Pegasus School, as we celebrate four decades of inspiring bright, curious minds. Unlike new institutions, our school boasts a storied history that spans forty years, a testament to the enduring vision of our school’s founder, Dr. Laura Hathaway. At the same time, we eagerly anticipate the future and the opportunities for innovation that it holds. Dr. Hathaway’s legacy of academic rigor and innovation continues to propel us forward, and I wholeheartedly embrace the responsibility of preserving and nurturing that vision as we look ahead to the next forty years.
I would also like to recognize the invaluable contributions of Jason Lopez, who has played a significant role in the success of The Pegasus School for the last decade. Under his leadership, the school has thrived and grown, and I am sincerely grateful for the strong foundation he has built. As I step into this role, I am excited to build upon the exceptional legacy he has created, and I look forward to collaborating with him to ensure a seamless transition and a continued commitment to excellence.
During my visit to The Pegasus School, I was deeply impressed by both the students and the teachers. The students were remarkably articulate and demonstrated a passion for learning. In addition, their exceptional kindness toward me and each other stands out as a true testament to the values and culture that The Pegasus School has cultivated over the years. The manifestation of these values would not be possible without exceptional faculty and staff. It was unmistakable that the teachers are devoted, thoughtful, caring, and hardworking. I eagerly anticipate working with our outstanding faculty to support our students as they prepare for the challenges of tomorrow with confidence and compassion.
As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Pegasus School, we do so with deep appreciation for the past, a steadfast focus on the present, and a keen eye toward the future. I am excited to work with our dedicated faculty, passionate parents, and bright students to foster a thriving learning environment, where intellectual curiosity, creativity, and a commitment to personal growth are celebrated.
I cannot wait to become part of this vibrant community where bright minds soar, to learn from each of you, and to contribute to the next chapter in the history of The Pegasus School.
Thank you for your warm welcome and for the trust you have placed in me.
Dr. Regina McDuffie
Overseeing the search process and advising the committee are Jerry Larson and Amy Richards from Educational Directions, a nationally recognized consulting firm for independent schools and proven leader in Head of School searches.
In April 2023, Head of School Jason Lopez announced to the Pegasus community his plans to retire. Jason will continue leading the school throughout the upcoming 2023–2024 school year and will retire on June 30, 2024, after ten years at The Pegasus School and 35 years as an educator. The new Head of School will start effective July 1, 2024.
- Head of School Search Update (May 31, 2023)
- Head of School Search Committee Announcement (April 5, 2023)
- Diem Dang’s Letter to the Community (April 3, 2023)
- Head of School Jason Lopez’s Retirement Announcement (April 3, 2023)
Educational Directions conducts interviews and surveys community members
Candidate recruitment begins, and the Head of School Search Committee conducts interviews
Finalists interviews and campus visits
By January 2024
Announce Head of School selection
July 1, 2024
New Head of School assumes responsibility
- Is this the time for The Pegasus School to transition to a new Head of School?
- What is the role of the Board of Trustees in the Head of School search?
- What is the role of the Head of School Search Committee?
- Who is leading the Head of School Search Committee?
- Who are the Head of School search consultants?
- Will the Associate Head of School become the next Head of School?
- What is the job description for the Head of School?
- What is the timeline for the Head of School transition?
- What is Jason’s role in the transition to the next Head of School?
- When and how will the community be updated on the search?
- How may I participate in the search process?
- To whom do I send the name of a great candidate?