Long Trail School appoints permanent head

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DORSET — Seth Linfield, Long Trail School's interim head of school since August, has been formally appointed to the job, the school announced Friday afternoon.

The school said following a national search, it appointed Linfield "with excitement and confidence."

The school's board of trustees voted unanimously to approve the appointment last Friday, school spokesperson Kim Rizio said.

Linfield succeeds Steven Dear, who resigned as head of school in August due to health concerns, as the fourth head of school in Long Trail's history.

Board of Trustees chairperson Tami Blanchard said that the search committee, aided by a search firm, received 54 resumes The committee then spent two days conducting interviews with eight candidates, and narrowed the field to four, including Linfield. Finalists spent multiple days on campus visiting with the search committee, attending classes and meeting with the school's advisory committee of faculty, parents, staff and students before reaching a decision.

"It started to become very clear who the favorite was, and the decision was somewhat easy for us," Blanchard said. "[Linfield] has been a school leader for 15 years, during which time he has spearheaded huge capital and endowment campaigns. He's passionate about education and he's a collaborative leader."

"I'm quite confident that he will work diligently with all of our constituents to continue and protect the amazing educational opportunities Long Trail School provides for our communities and young people," she added.

An installation ceremony for Linfield is being planned and could happen as early as January, Blanchard said.

Linfield came to Long Trail with experience as a head of school at institutions across the country. He previously worked as an attorney and earned degrees from New York University and Stanford Law School.

In August, Linfield told the Journal that he hoped to maintain Long Trail's educational and community service programs as interim head of school.

"To take the next step with the learning environment, there's a robust public service community that our students engage in, and I hope to engage in that as well," he said.

He also indicated in August that the interim role would give him a chance to learn about the school's culture and steer its mission.

"I think my experiences at other schools will help me to focus even more quickly on Long Trail's mission and core values and culture, and then help me advance them for the benefit of the entire school community," he said.

Long Trail, in its 43rd year of operation, is the first school in the state to offer an International Baccalaureate diploma program.

Linfield and his wife Deanna have seven children, the youngest of which is a student at Long Trail.

Reach Greg Sukiennik at gsukiennik@manchesterjournal.com.


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