December 7, 2015
Helen Marlette, Assistant Head of School, was announced today as the next Head of Buffalo Seminary. Her term will begin immediately following the retirement of current Head of School Jody Douglass in June 2016.
Margaret Brown '72, Chair of the Board of Trustees, made the announcement that the Board voted unanimously to offer Mrs. Marlette the position and that she had accepted.
“I am honored to lead the SEM community at an exciting time in the history of our school and Buffalo," Mrs. Marlette said. "The opportunity for our students from Western New York and around the world to be part of the tradition of academic excellence and leadership for women at SEM when our city is resurgent, is extraordinary.”
Mrs. Marlette's career in education spans more than three decades in independent secondary schools. She has served SEM in a number of leadership positions since 2007. As Assistant Head of School, Mrs. Marlette is responsible for day-to-day operations of the school, working closely with Head of School Jody Douglass on all aspects of the school's management and planning.
Mrs. Marlette will be the 14th Head of School. SEM is on a trajectory of strength - enrollment has hit historic highs of well over 200 students, with girls from around the world, the nation, and the region in our day and residential populations and garnering attention for its successful, innovative, and diverse residential program from the National Association of Independent Schools.
Mrs. Marlette was offered the Head of School position following a comprehensive study by the Board’s Leadership Transition Committee working with Greenwich Leadership Partners (GLP), independent schools consultancy. GLP’s assessment included a survey of the SEM community, and meetings with current leadership, faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumnae to determine the future needs of SEM.
Since 1851 this venerable school has been woven into the fabric of Buffalo. A pioneer and leader in women's education, as the city and region have begun a renaissance SEM will continue to build community partnerships.