Brooklyn Heights Montessori School is a diverse community committed to educational excellence, serving students in preschool through grade 8.

Our Next Head of School

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are proud and tremendously excited to announce the appointment of Stephanie Pax Flanigan as Brooklyn Heights Montessori School’s next Head of School.  Stephanie will succeed Martha Haakmat in July 2019, following the conclusion of Martha’s exceptional six years as Head of School.

Stephanie is a national Montessori leader and a highly experienced head of school.  She recently completed an 18-year tenure as the head of Montessori School of Denver (MSD).  Her leadership was instrumental in extending MSD’s program through eighth grade, growing its campus, raising the school’s profile in Denver and beyond, and maintaining dual accreditations with the American Montessori Society and the Association of Colorado Independent Schools.  Stephanie is an ardent believer in faculty development and has trained and mentored many school leaders, including the new head at MSD. Stephanie articulates Montessori principles with ease and has a proven track record of promoting Montessori pedagogy and Montessori eighth grade graduates.

Our halls resonated with excitement during Stephanie’s campus visit earlier this month!  Stephanie showed herself to be a consummate professional who connected seamlessly with all constituencies. Stephanie is fiercely dedicated to the ongoing development of the heart of our program: our expert, ingenious, tireless teachers.  It is clear to the board that Stephanie will be a powerful guide, mentor and champion for all of our faculty and staff. In the words of one of our faculty members, “it was like she was already here.”

We are delighted to welcome Stephanie. We look forward to her stewardship of Brooklyn Heights Montessori School’s mission to educate children who are, in the words of Dr. Maria Montessori, “both a hope and a promise for mankind.”

Search Process

In May 2018, Martha Haakmat announced that the 2018-2019 school year will be her last at Brooklyn Heights Montessori School.  When Martha joined BHMS in 2013, she worked with the Board of Trustees to create an ambitious new strategic plan, focused on enhancing program excellence, maintaining the school’s strong financial footing, and improving the school’s communications.  Martha took to the work with the joyful energy that is her hallmark and delivered in a big way. Martha has created a culture dedicated to inclusion, overseen rigorous curricular evaluation and improvements, and advocated for BHMS and Montessori far beyond our Brooklyn roots to cement BHMS’s national reputation as the gold-standard of Montessori schools. Martha has also shepherded the Raise the Roof capital project from a mere idea to a reality - green, beautiful, and now ready for our children to enjoy even richer academic and athletic programming.
In preparation for Martha’s departure the Board of Trustees established a Search Committee made up of Trustees who represent current parents in each of our programs as well as an outside educator.  The Board has also retained Carney, Sandoe & Associates as the education search consulting firm. The search process will consider input from all stakeholders and there will be an opportunity for everyone - from students and families to staff and faculty - to provide feedback.


Search Timeline

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is leading the search process?

The selection of the Head of School is the single most important duty of the Board of Trustees, who are already organized and prepared to find an inspiring, extraordinary leader. The Head Search Committee, comprised of a sub-group of Trustees, is responsible for leading the search process.  

This committee will work with Ralph Davison and Amanda Riegel of Carney, Sandoe & Associates,  the consultation firm retained by the Board of Trustees.  CS&A does more search and consulting work for U.S. independent and charter schools and international schools than any other firm in the world. CS&A is the firm that brought our current Head of School, Martha Haakmat to BHMS. 

What is the role of the consulting firm vs. the Search Committee?

Carney, Sandoe & Associates will advise the Head Search Committee on best practices, timing, and logistics during the process.  In June, CS&A will visit BHMS to meet with various stakeholder groups and poll our entire community to gather information on the needs of the school while also realizing the school’s culture.  CS&A will also manage the structure of interviews, visits, and reference checks to ensure the best pool of candidates.

The Head Search Committee leads the process from beginning to end, starting with the creation of our school profile and Head of School job description.  While CS&A vets qualified candidates to present, the Head Search Committee performs all interviews, gathers community feedback for all candidates, and keeps the community updated during the process.  This committee goes on to present one candidate to the full Board of Trustees for confirmation.  Once a new Head of School is confirmed and announced, the Head Search Committee is responsible for ensuring a smooth transition of leadership while assimilating a new member into our BHMS community.

What is the Board’s role in the process?

After finalists visit BHMS, the Head Search Committee, with careful consideration of feedback provided by all stakeholders, will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for the new Head of School.  Trustees will then vote on this recommendation at a special meeting of the Board.

What role does the community (families, faculty, staff, students) have during this process?

All members of the BHMS Community will be actively engaged throughout the search process. Activities include meeting with the consulting firm in June, meeting candidates during site visits in the fall, and providing crucial feedback to the Head Search Committee.  

How will the search and the transition of leadership affect the BHMS experience?

While leadership may change, the mission and core values remain the same at BHMS.  Academic Excellence, Montessori, Diversity, and Community will continue to guide us through this exciting time.  The Board of Trustees through the Head Search Committee will work closely with the incoming Head of School, Martha Haakmat, and the Admin Team to ensure a smooth transition.

How will the Search Committee update the community during the search process?

As Chair of the Head Search Committee, Teresita Levy will keep the community updated through a series of emails dictated by the timeline of the search.  These emails will come through the same Veracross system used for all school communications like newsletters. Please keep your email updated in Veracross so you do not miss out on any information.  Communications will also be posted to this website under  “Updates to the Community” so you can access them at any time.


Who do I contact if I have thoughts or questions about the search process?

Teresita Levy is the Chair of Search Committee and she has appointed two trustees to connect with families and faculty and staff for ease of questions: Ilana Levine (Liaison to BHMS Families) and Andy McCormick (Liaison to Faculty and Staff).  Please do not hesitate to contact the the Head Search Committee by emailing









Search Committee

The Head Search Committee is comprised of 9 trustees and includes 8 current parents with children collectively in every program in the school and 1 trustee who is an outside educator.
Teresita Levy
Chair of the Search Committee
Parent of Ari (8) and Ilan (6)
Incoming Secretary of the Board 
Ilana Levine
Liaison to BHMS Families
Parent of Mia (7), Lucia (5),
and Julian (Threes)
Incoming Trustee

Andy McCormick
Liaison to Faculty and Staff
Parent of Bee (6)

Cecilia Amrute
Parent of August (3)

Neely Cather
Parent of Nile (7), Denali (5),
and Reed (K)

Barbara Moore
Retired faculty member,
Packer Collegiate Institute

Teepoo Riaz
Parent of India (3)
 and Gemma (Fours)
Incoming Vice President of the Board 

Rebecca Romano
Parent of Jillian (3) and Reagan (3)
Incoming Trustee

Margaret Donohoe Tull
Parent of Elliot (8) and  Addie (3)
Incoming President of the Board 

Please direct any Head of School Search Questions to