An Independent School • Grades 5-12

Following Head of School Bernie Noe’s announcement that the 2021-2022 school year would be his 23rd and final year at Lakeside, the school is pleased to announce the members of the head of school search committee.

  • Bert Valdman, P’17 ’20 ’26, committee chair
  • Caryn Abrey
  • Joanna Lin Black P’21 ’23
  • Ronnie Codrington-Cazeau P’20
  • Tim Panos ’85, P’22 ’24 ’24 
  • Carey Crutcher Smith ’77, P’11 ’14
  • Ed Taylor

The seven members are drawn from across our community and encompass current and former Lakeside trustees, alumni, parents of current students, parents of alumni, faculty, and experts in education. “The members bring a diversity of perspectives and opinions to the process as well as a demonstrated commitment to Lakeside’s mission and values,” shares search committee chair Bert Valdman. More information on each of the committee members is below.

The Board of Trustees hires the head of school, and it will be the goal of the search committee to engage in a thoughtful and thorough process to identify, recruit, assess, and present applicants qualified to lead Lakeside. The full board will meet with the final candidates, and, acting on the recommendation of the search committee, vote to approve the appointment of the next head of school.

The search committee is eager to hear from community members. On Friday, Jan. 22, all members of the Lakeside community will receive a link to a survey inviting their ideas and feedback on Lakeside and our next head of school. The survey will close on Monday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m.

In addition to gathering input through the survey, consultants from executive search firm Spencer Stuart will meet with small groups of representatives from the faculty, staff, and administrators; students; parents and guardians; alumni; and trustees. Faculty and students participating in those meetings were selected by Assistant Head of School/Upper School Director Felicia Wilks and Middle School Director Reem Abu Rahmeh; staff and administrators by Assistant Head of School/Chief Financial Officer Birage Tandon; parents and guardians by Parents and Guardians Association President April Joseph and President-elect Katie Traverse; and alumni by Lakeside/St. Nicholas Alumni Board President Elizabeth Richardson Vigdor ’85 and President-elect Nicholas Stevens ’06.

Additional questions and advice for the search committee can be emailed to That email address is monitored by search consultants at Spencer Stuart; they will track and manage nominations and share the themes and submitted ideas with the members of the search committee.

Search committee members

Bertrand (“Bert”) Valdman P17 20 26, committee chair

Bert Valdman serves as president and CEO of NorthStar Energy, a leading provider of fuel and energy solutions in Alaska and Hawaii. Prior to this role, Valdman served as the chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Puget Sound Energy, and was president of Edison Energy and senior vice president of strategic planning at Edison International.

On Lakeside’s board, Valdman currently serves as treasurer and chairs the assets management committee; he was chair from 2018 to 2020 and is in his first year as immediate past chair. He is a founding member of the advisory board for The Downtown School: A Lakeside School. He also serves on the board of the Seattle Art Museum. Valdman chaired the boards of Overlake Hospital and the Puget Sound Blood Center (now renamed Bloodworks Northwest), where he also chaired the search committee for the Blood Center’s CEO. While on the Pacific Northwest Ballet board, he served as treasurer. Valdman earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Northwestern University, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees from Stanford University. He is the father of two recent Lakeside School alumni and a current Middle School student.

Caryn Abrey

Caryn Abrey is a member of Lakeside’s Upper School science faculty, where she has taught biology, physiology, environmental science, and chemistry. In addition to teaching, she coordinates the program that supports and mentors faculty new to Lakeside, directing a team of Upper and Middle school mentors and leading the annual new faculty retreat.  During her eight years as Upper School science department head, Abrey facilitated a significant shift in the department’s pedagogical approach to student-directed, problem-solving-based learning.

In her 16 years at Lakeside, Abrey has served on a wide range of committees and initiatives encompassing operational and academic aspects of the school, including the hiring committees for two Upper School directors; the working group that helped design The Downtown School: A Lakeside School; and the re-envisioning committee that developed a cross-divisional academic schedule. Abrey holds a doctorate in aquatic and fishery sciences from the University of Washington; a master’s degree in Zoology from Duke University; and a bachelor’s in biology from New College of Florida.

Joanna Lin Black P’21 ’23

Joanna Lin Black has been a partner for more than 15 years at the law firm Adkins Black, where she negotiates a myriad of contracts on behalf of her biotechnology, software, and venture capital fund clients. Before joining the firm, she served as vice president and general counsel for Xcyte Therapies, Inc., a public biotechnology company, where she managed all legal affairs. She also oversaw the company’s initial public offering, public convertible preferred stock financing, and corporate securities compliance. Prior to that, she worked as a corporate attorney at the law firms of Venture Law Group and Wilson Sonsini.

Black served as Lakeside’s Parents and Guardians Association president in 2019-2020, during which time she focused on connecting with Lakeside parents and guardians more effectively by brainstorming and implementing flexible and creative ideas for involvement. Prior to her term as president, she served as president-elect, vice president communications, Pawprint editor, and class representative. In addition, Black served two terms on Seattle Country Day School’s Board of Trustees, 2012-2018, including as secretary, and co-chaired its diversity committee. Black earned her J.D. at the Columbia University School of Law, and she holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and public policy from Stanford University. 

Veronica (“Ronnie”) Codrington-Cazeau P’20

Ronnie Codrington-Cazeau is in her first year as the head of school at University Prep in Seattle. For the previous eight years, she served as head of The Evergreen School in Shoreline. In her time at Evergreen, Codrington-Cazeau grew enrollment, oversaw a campus expansion project, and led a successful $20 million campaign. She began her teaching career at The Park School in Brookline, Mass., and spent 17 years (the final six as middle school head) at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, Calif.

In addition to serving as lead faculty member in the NAIS Fellowship for Aspiring Heads, Codrington-Cazeau also serves as a member of the NAIS board, the Country Day School Headmasters’ Association, and the INDEX board. She is the past president of the Elementary School Head’s Association and the NWAIS board. Codrington-Cazeau holds a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a master’s in educational leadership from Pepperdine University. She is a naturalized American citizen and the mother of two children, the oldest of whom is a Lakeside Class of 2020 alumnus.

Artemios (“Tim”) Panos ’85, P22 24 24

Tim Panos is a principal of Panos Properties LLC, a closely held investment company with interests in commercial real estate, public securities, and private equity. Prior to that, he was an investment banker for Lehman Brothers in New York and served as vice president of the Global Leveraged Finance Group, arranging growth and acquisition financings for leveraged companies and financial sponsors. Panos holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a bachelor’s in economics and philosophy from Trinity College. He also completed the general course at the London School of Economics. 

Panos is the vice chair of the Lakeside School Board of Trustees, which he joined in 2018. He previously served as chair of the assets management and development and communications committees. His service on the Lakeside/St. Nicholas Alumni Board included a term as president. Panos has also served as a trustee of the Bush School, where he was a member of the finance committee and the campus master planning task force and chaired the investment committee. He is the father of three current Lakeside School students.

Carey Crutcher Smith ’77 P11 14

Carey Crutcher Smith is the director of community relations for general contractor Lease Crutcher Lewis, where she oversees philanthropy, industry engagement, and community service. With a 135-year history of giving back to the community, the firm is known for its support and leadership of local causes as well for its building of local landmarks.  

Smith is the chair of the Lakeside School Board of Trustees, which she joined in 2012. She previously served as board vice chair and chaired the development and communications committee. An active member of the Class of 1977, she served on the Lakeside/St. Nicholas Alumni Board from 1989 to 1992. Smith is on the board of the Design-Build Institute of America Northwest Region, serves on the Urban Land Institute Women’s Leadership Initiative, volunteers with Social Venture Partners, and is in her fourth year as Lead Partner for Washington Green Schools. She was a trustee for 10 years on the board of Girl Scouts of Western Washington. Smith earned her bachelor’s degree in English and American studies at Princeton and holds a master’s degree in business from Stanford. She is a graduate of the Leadership Tomorrow program. Her two daughters are Lakeside alumni.

Ed Taylor

Ed Taylor is vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs at the University of Washington, where he oversees educational opportunities that deepen and enrich the undergraduate experience. He is a professor in the UW’s College of Education, and his research, writing, and teaching center on comparative education in the U.S. and South Africa, the moral dimensions of education and integrative education, and leadership in education and social justice. He is also a faculty member of the Academy for Contemplative and Ethical Leadership, which is part of the Mind and Life Institute.

Active in the community, Taylor served three terms on Lakeside School’s Board of Trustees, 2009-2018, and is a founding member of the advisory board for The Downtown School: A Lakeside School. He is a founding board member of Rainier Scholars and is on the board of the Seattle Foundation. Taylor also serves on the boards of Gonzaga University, College Spark Washington, and Rwanda Girls Initiative, and was on the Seattle mayor’s Education Summit Advisory Group. Taylor earned his doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Washington, and he holds a master’s degree in psychology and bachelor’s degrees in sociology and in psychology from Gonzaga University.