An Independent School • Grades 5-12

We are excited to announce that Ryan Boccuzzi has accepted Lakeside’s offer to join the community as director of the Upper School. Boccuzzi will start at Lakeside in early July.

In a joint email to the community, current Head of School Bernie Noe and incoming Head of School Kai Bynum expressed their — and the search committee’s — enthusiasm for Boccuzzi. “Ryan is an incredibly experienced Upper School director and will be a great partner, leader, and mentor in our community. As an educator who began his career as a physics teacher, Ryan brings a teacher’s love of students and schools to his role as director. The search committee and all who met Ryan during his visit spoke of his deep understanding of life in independent schools and the many exciting challenges schools currently face. We know he will embrace Lakeside’s innovative approach to teaching and learning, and lead the school into the future with wisdom, dynamism, and creativity."

Boccuzzi comes to Lakeside from Brentwood School, a leading independent day school in Los Angeles, where he has served as Upper School director since 2015. In his role there, he oversees all operations of the high school of 575 students and is a member of the leadership team for the entire K-12 school of 1,200 students. His responsibilities include hiring, mentoring, and retaining faculty who place student education and well-being at the center of the learning process; partnering with Brentwood’s office of equity and inclusion to ensure alignment with the school’s efforts in diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice and to integrate that perspective across all areas of the school; and leading the curriculum work of the school, including course design.

From 2009 to 2015, Boccuzzi served in several roles at Rolling Hills Preparatory and Renaissance Schools in San Pedro, California — first teaching physics and coaching, then adding the role of dean of students, before being named director of the Upper Schools in 2011. He began his career in education as a science teacher, soccer coach, and residential advisor for boarders at Worcester Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts. A Connecticut native, Boccuzzi has a bachelor's degree from Colby College in Maine, where he majored in physics, minored in math, and served as the captain of the varsity soccer team. He holds a Master of Arts degree in private school leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Noe and Bynum wrote, “Members of the Lakeside community responded enthusiastically to Ryan’s extensive experience as an Upper School director. Having served as a high school principal at two schools over the last 10 years, Ryan has handled all aspects of the job. He balances a deep understanding of this administrative role with a heartfelt appreciation and understanding of faculty and teaching, and a focus on the academic, social-emotional, and developmental needs of high school students. We believe he is a great fit with the values and culture of Lakeside.”

Boccuzzi and his wife, Elsa, will move to Seattle this summer. He will take over the role from Lakeside’s current Upper School Director, Felicia Wilks, who is headed to New York to serve as head at The Spence School.

Members of the Upper School director search committee included Middle School Director Reem Abu Rahmeh, Director of Equity and Inclusion Debbie Bensadon, Upper School drama teacher Alban Dennis P’21 ’25, trustee Tim Panos ’85 P’22 24, Upper School student Welela S. ’22, Assistant Head of School/Chief Financial Officer Birage Tandon, Upper School parent Anna White P’22 24, and Director of College Counseling Ari Worthman. The nationwide search was organized by DRG Talent Advisory Group.