In Jessica Donovan, Chadwick School has found a superior leader who demonstrates all the key qualities that we as a community desire in our next Head of School. She brings a deep commitment to teaching and developing young minds, a stalwart belief in the value of experiential learning, an extensive commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and she embodies and fully embraces our Core Values and our Mission. As a community, we are excited and enthusiastic about the future under Jessica’s leadership.
Jessica S. Donovan joins Chadwick School, Palos Verdes, effective July 1, 2023, and will be Chadwick’s 14th Head of School since it was founded in 1935 by Margaret Lee Chadwick.
Donovan is currently Head of School at Sheridan School, an independent school in Washington, D.C. Donovan has spent more than 23 years working in schools as a teacher and school leader, including roles as Division Director, Assistant Head of School and Head of School. Her work at Sheridan included implementing data-driven curriculum overhauls; leading renovations at both the city and mountain campuses; building a culture of philanthropy; increasing the diversity of faculty, staff and families; and overseeing the strategic plan, while ensuring that all community members have a sense of belonging.
Donovan sits on the board of the Association of Independent Schools of Greater Washington, where she chairs the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She also serves on the board of the Association of Independent Maryland Schools, where she is the commissioner for accreditation. Donovan has presented at various conferences on integrated project-based learning, mindfulness, curriculum design and differentiation, and hiring and retaining diverse faculty. She serves as a leadership mentor for underrepresented leaders in independent schools. Donovan earned her B.A. in English and American Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her M.A. in Independent School Leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. She and her partner, Ed Han, have two sons and two daughters, all between the ages of 19 and 25. When not at school, you’ll find her enjoying homemade meals with her family.
Thank you to those who participated in the RG175 survey on Chadwick's next Head of School. Learning about your unique perspectives on what traits matter most in our next leader is helpful in selecting the right candidate. Please click below to see the survey results.
Chadwick Schools develop global citizens with keen minds, exemplary character, self-knowledge and the ability to lead.
from 63 communities in Los Angeles County
and Student/Advisor Ratio
Students of Color
Critical & Creative Thinking
Our founder Margaret Chadwick's insight into the makeup of an ideal learning experience was far ahead of its time and is chronicled in her book A Dipperful of Humanity — The Chadwick Adventure in Education. Chadwick School sustains and seeks to expand Mrs. Chadwick’s remarkable vision by developing and enhancing in our students the knowledge, skills and empathic orientation required to understand multiple perspectives and to thrive and lead in an increasingly interconnected world.
Chadwick School has a clear imperative to honor its core values of honesty, respect, responsibility, compassion and fairness by providing an atmosphere that embraces diversity and models inclusiveness. We do this in a way that acknowledges race, gender, economic background, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ability, family structure, national origin and religious belief, both in lived experience and curricular material.
Chadwick is committed to providing the highest quality education, an endeavor that requires a diverse and inclusive environment. Our culture of active inquiry and open discussion promotes students’ ability to discern both shared and divergent values and sensibilities, while always using the Core Values as a compass to understand local and global perspectives. Chadwick students will learn to engage and communicate across differences, to challenge stereotypes and to find, understand and respect commonalities among individuals of all backgrounds.
Chadwick students will be led on a journey of self-discovery. The lived experience of Chadwick students, both inside and outside the classroom, prepares them to engage and thrive as leaders by example in the world. Through our learning environment and in all of our programs, students experience the important dynamic between individuality and social responsibility.
Chadwick School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or national or ethnic origin or ancestry in the administration of its educational policies, employment policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletics and other after-school programs.