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Head of School Search

Head of School Search

September 3, 2021

Dear VMS Community,

On behalf of the Vail Mountain School Board of Trustees, it is my sincere pleasure to announce that Steve Bileca has been appointed as the next Vail Mountain School Head of School effective July 1, 2022. Steve currently serves as the Assistant Head of School

for Academic Affairs at Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY. In this role, Steve oversees all academic and curricular affairs including curriculum review and development, teacher hiring and evaluation, and professional development, institutional research initiatives global education; sustainability and wellness initiatives. In addition, he oversees the implementation of the academic aspects of the school’s Strategic Plan. Steve’s previous positions have included Assistant Head of Campus/Head of Middle School at the Brandeis-Hillel Day School, Assistant Head of School at The Marin School, and Dean of Students/History Department Chair at The Branson School. 

Steve holds a BA in Modern Thought and Literature as well as History, an MA in History, and a PhD/ABD in Modern European Intellectual History from Cornell University. In addition, he has enjoyed academic affiliations with the University of Chicago, The University of California (Berkeley), and The Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany.

As you will recall, this search began with the development of a Leadership Profile, a review of dossiers of over 50 highly qualified candidates. Our search consultants, Educators' Collaborative, then narrowed the field to 25 and our search committee chose the top 12. In early June, we held virtual interviews with these 12 potential candidates. We then narrowed the field to the top six candidates for second interviews and then invited the top three candidates to visit campus to meet the board, administration, faculty, staff, parents, students, and alumni in person. We are confident that this robust process resulted in finding the right Head of School to meet our Leadership Profile.

Steve is enthusiastically looking forward to joining VMS, “I am deeply honored to be joining the VMS community as the next Head of School. I marvel at everything I have come to know about Vail Mountain School – the inspirational way that the academic program is interwoven with wilderness and outdoor experience; the vibrant and distinctive school culture; and the remarkable quality of the students, families, faculty, and staff with whom I met. The school’s mission to develop character, seek knowledge, and build community resonates profoundly with my core educational and personal beliefs, and I am overjoyed at the prospect of helping the community further the promise of its aims. The most exceptional learning happens when we are in ethical relation with others in an environment that evokes awe. I simply can’t imagine a better place to be!”

Steve and his wife, Angela, have two sons: Daniel, a senior at Bates College, and Alexander, a senior at Hackley School. They are a family of avid outdoor enthusiasts and enjoy mountain biking, skiing, and backpacking. Steve’s other interests include reading, foreign language study, ethnomusicology, and traveling.

While Steve will not officially start at VMS until the end of the 2021 - 2022 school year, the Board, Mike Imperi, and Steve will work together throughout this year to ensure a smooth transition of leadership in July 2022. In addition, a Transition Committee will organize on-campus visits for Steve throughout the year in order for him to begin integrating into the community.

Please join us in welcoming Steve, Angela, Daniel, and Alexander to the VMS community.


Kristin Tang
VMS Board of Trustees Chair

Search Committee

Mandy Jaffe (Chair)
Liza Alrick
David Bentley
David Campbell
Amy Gish
Susanne Johnson
Anne-Marie Keane
Melissa Provencher
Elizabeth Sipes
Kristin Tang

Positioning Statement

First page of the PDF file: VailMtSchool_2021_foramanda