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Head of School Search

Announcing Tilton School's 27th Head of School

Dear Tilton School Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Search Committee, it is with great enthusiasm that I announce the appointment of David Thiel as Tilton’s 27th Head of School, succeeding Peter Saliba P’17, ’19, ’19 on July 1, 2020. Please join me in welcoming David, his wife Vita, and their two sons to the Hill.

Prior to his time as an educator, David founded and operated several companies, gaining experience in marketing communications, business operations, and creative problem solving—but what drew us most to David is the balance between his business skills and his broad experience at a boarding school. 

David understands the unique power of boarding schools to facilitate student growth 24/7—an understanding that originated in his time as a student at Deerfield Academy, and which has been reinforced during his tenure on the faculty. As a student, he played multiple sports at the varsity level, and led Deerfield’s choral groups, radio station, literary magazine, and student activities committee. 

In his role as an Assistant Head of School at Deerfield, David teaches design, staffs the Academy’s innovation lab, and advises students and clubs including TEDxDeerfield. David is a passionate teacher and learner—and a seasoned school administrator who has engaged some of the most challenging and exciting topics in secondary education.

I thank the search committee for their countless hours they dedicated to the process. This is a great time of celebration and opportunity for growth and change.

With my deepest appreciation,

Dave McElhinny P’13
Chair, Board of Trustees



Tilton School Community,

With the Mastery Approach, Tilton is pursuing the most innovative work in boarding schools—fueled by the powerful relationships and agile determination that seems to define the School community. It is this innovative culture, warm community and sense of promise that drew me to Tilton.

My journey in life and career was launched by the formative power of a boarding school that provided a traditional course of study, but taught me to align my aspirations to a greater sense of responsibility, purpose and meaning. I think Tilton is pioneering a new model—preserving the precious and defining hallmarks of the boarding school experience, but delivering an innovative curriculum that anticipates and prepares students for a world marked by diversity and change.

Tilton has embraced the notion that today’s students need new skills and dispositions to thrive in the modern world—and the School understands that in order to deliver those lessons, we must continue to be focused and persistent, nimble and enterprising. I’m excited to join in the effort, and I can’t wait to share Tilton’s inspiring ideas with the world. 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as Tilton’s next Head of School. It is humbling to be counted as part of the long heritage of leadership embodied in Mr. Saliba, the Board of Trustees and the incredible talent and dedication of Tilton’s faculty, staff, students, parents and alumni. 

Thank you,

David Thiel


Rob Patten ‘89

Bernice Bradin  P ‘19

Tyson Conrad
Faculty/Trustee Representative

Dennis Gaudet P’07, ‘13, ‘19

Mike Landroche P’02
Faculty/Staff Representative

Christine Louis P'19
Faculty/Staff Representative

Matt Masiello ‘90

Jamie A. Rome ‘80

Kate Saunders P’17, ‘21
Faculty/Staff Representative

Mike Schafer
Ex Officio Advisor

John Shaughnessy

Betsy Worcester ‘84

Contact Search Committee 

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