Behind the Scenes: Faculty & Staff Work Week

August 31, 2015 

As we get ready for the first day of school tomorrow, I wanted to give you a “peek behind the curtain” at what went on last week in preparation for the arrival of the children.  
While many might envision a week of meetings, furniture movement, and bulletin board prep, the faculty and staff spent the first morning building bikes for the Boys & Girls Clubs, a theme that resonated with both the spirit of city and the mission of the School. Teams engaged in series of collaborative games in order to “earn” pedals, seats, handlebars, and wheels that eventually were assembled into completed bikes.

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Congratulations, Class of 2015

June 11, 2015 

On Wednesday, June 10th, San Francisco Day School celebrated its 28th graduation, the class of 2015.  Student speakers included Tavi D. and Lola M., who spoke to the unique and special qualities of their 8th grade class.  Jules S. and Zoe S. announced the class gift to SFDS, a new trophy case - not for athletics, but for proudly displaying our students' academic awards and recognition. This year's faculty speaker, Andrew Manton, reflected on the importance of being present and prioritizing fun in life. Dr. Jackson gave his final closing remarks, discussing what it means today to "be smart." Click here to read Dr. Jackson's speech in full.

Boys JV Volleyball Wins Championship!

May 08, 2015 

The JV Volleyball team took the BAIAL Championship with a win over MCDS on the Cougars home court. The team is comprised of 5th and 6th grade boys, with many being new to the sport of volleyball. MCDS had bested SFDS the two previous meetings with both games going to a decisive third set. It was clear for SF Day that the third time was indeed the charm. The boys took control of the first set with a fast start keeping the lead at around seven points until MCDS furiously came back towards the end to take a 22-21 lead. We answered back taking the set and the first steps towards the title. The second set was a back and forth affair finding the teams tied at twelve. At that point Max Feigenbaum took to the service line. Max had been struggling with his serve and had been subbed out during his turn to serve in the rotation for the first set. As he approached the service line he looked to the bench and was met with a shrug. What happened next surprised Max and ignited his team. He hit vicious serve after vicious serve, and helped blow open the game. The whole thing ended with William Corrigan dropping a beautiful serve over the net for game...set...match...championship. The team improved by leaps and bounds over the course of the season. I'm sure that those who attended the first game at Brandeis would agree that the team that played in that game was unrecognizable to the team that beat MCDS. It is a testament to the players' hard work and quality guidance from their coaches Damian Crosby and Jason Gant.

Phins' Semi-Finals This Week!

May 04, 2015 

Come cheer on our teams today and tomorrow at their semi-finals games. Go 'Phins!!



  • Boys Varsity Volleyball at MCDS (3:45), with a win the Championship Game will be on Wednesday, May 6 at Brandeis (3:45)
  • Boys JV Volleyball at Brandeis (3:45), with a win the Championship Game will be on Tuesday, May 5 at MCDS (3:45)



  • Girls Varsity Soccer vs Hamlin at Kimbell (3:45), with a win the Championship Game will be on Wednesday, May 6 at MCDS (3:45)
  • Girls 6th Grade Basketball at International (3:45), with a win the Championship Game will be on Thursday, May 7 at International (3:45)

Introducing Susan Wayland, Our Next CFO

April 15, 2015 

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Susan Wayland to the position of Chief Financial Officer.  Our search committee, led by Dr. Mike Walker (incoming Head of School) and Laura Spivy (President, Board of Trustees) worked closely with executive firm Armanino LLP to conduct an extensive search comprised of hundreds of candidates, which was selectively culled down to a small pool of finalists.  

Ms. Wayland has over 20 years’ experience in both for-profit and non-profit accounting and finance. She is joining SFDS after four years with San Francisco Art Institute, where she managed and directed all aspects of finance, accounting, and HR. She graduated with a B.A. in Business Administration from Sonoma State University and obtained an M.B.A. in corporate finance from Golden Gate University.  Ms. Wayland is currently pursuing a certificate of accountancy from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Our search committee was impressed by Ms. Wayland’s firsthand experience with issues of tuition, affordability, and accessibility. She spoke intelligently and authoritatively about tuition revenue models and clearly understood the challenges and dynamics of financial aid and discounted tuition. Additionally, she is incredibly well versed in feasibility studies and capital campaigns, a highly valued skillset as we progress facilities master planning for our school. Ms. Wayland also demonstrated a compassionate and collaborative work style yet was clearly prepared to ask the tough questions necessary to ensure thoughtful discussion and well-informed decision-making.

In her visit to SFDS, Ms. Wayland spent time with various members of our community: students, administration, faculty, and staff. Dr. Walker remarked, “I found Susan to be strategically creative, skilled at financial modeling, and a good listener. Her questions were thoughtful, candid, and relevant, and I am looking forward to having Susan as a strategic partner.”  

Ms. Wayland will begin in mid-May, in order to work with Carolyn Sasser and get up to speed prior to the start of the 2015-2016 school year.  She is excited to join the SFDS community this spring. 

Welcome, Ms. Wayland!

Retirement Celebration for Leah Rosenkrantz on June 1st

April 15, 2015 

At the close of this school year, Ms. Rosenkrantz will officially retire from her role as Lower School Counselor at San Francisco Day School. Since September 11, 2001, Ms. Rosenkrantz has provided countless hours of comfort, support, and guidance to families at our school.  Many in our community have immensely benefitted from her gifted expertise, generous spirit, and warm heart, and we would like to take this opportunity to recognize her wonderful contribution to our school and our community.   Please join us to toast Ms. Rosenkrantz and wish her the very best in this next chapter of her life. 

Monday, June 1st
3:30-5:30 p.m.
SFDS Masonic Lobby & Library Media Center

RSVP online:

Common Sense Media Tip of the Week

March 04, 2015 
Common Sense Media

Did you know that San Francisco Day School is part of the "Supporter School” network of Common Sense Media?  Our partnership is a powerful way for us to take advantage of the resources of this thoughtful organization and for us to contribute to important conversations about raising our children in a media-rich world.

Sixth graders having a creative momentAt San Francisco Day School, we are always looking for ways to encourage our curious students to achieve their highest creative potential.  Children are naturally creative and the question for parents and caregivers is how to best encourage that creativity.  Common Sense has hand-selected a variety of tools to help you foster your kids’ interest in art, science, music, writing, and even directing.  Take a look at the Modern Kid Guide to Crafting, Coding, Composing and More and let loose your inner creative streak!  This guide curates many helpful apps and other online tools, and it groups the suggestions by age.  “We all try to make good choices about screen time and balancing different activities for our children,” explains Christopher Sokolov, Director of Technology & 21st Century Learning.  “A guide like this that focuses on creativity helps me make conscientious decisions with my students and with my own children.”  It can be fun to include your own children in choosing apps and setting rules for device use at home.  “I like to ask children to teach me a new app,” offers Mr. Sokolov.  “Asking questions that guide a child to answer ‘why’ an app is engaging stimulates the child’s learning and your own.”

Introducing New Upper School Head, Dr. Ruth Bissell

February 01, 2015 

Dear SFDS Community,

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ruth Bissell as our Upper School Head, effective July 1, 2015.

As a lifelong learner with advanced degrees, Dr. Bissell has dedicated her life to teaching and developing young minds throughout her professional career.  Most recently, she has provided educational leadership to the San Lorenzo Unified School District, where she consulted administrators on enriching curriculum with project-based learning and helped design professional development for teachers. Dr. Bissell began her career as a social studies teacher in Emeryville, and her deep administrative experience includes several years serving as assistant principal at Davidson Middle School, Terra Linda School, and LPS College Park High School in Oakland.

Dr. Bissell graduated with a B.A. in anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, obtained a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, and holds an M.A. in educational leadership from the University of California, Berkeley.  Dr. Bissell's passion for examining and understanding human behavior provides a valuable and unique perspective to pedagogy and how we all learn.

During her school visit, Dr. Bissell demonstrated that she has intellectual depth, a thorough knowledge of curriculum and instruction, and is a keen observer of classroom dynamics. She showed herself to be a strong listener, collaborator, and advocate for her colleagues. The Advisory Committee appreciated Dr. Bissell's thoughtful responses and her enthusiasm for independent school education. Dr. Bissell also made quite an impression on our students; immediately following her lunch with sixth graders, several of them made a special effort to find me and tell me that she was the best candidate. The students were able to relate to Dr. Bissell, they could see she was genuinely interested in them, and they thought she could be a good leader at our school.

Her references were all eager to recommend Dr. Bissell to us.  They spoke of her knowledge of teaching and learning, her ability to build professional and collaborative relationships with faculty, and her capacity to form empathetic alliances with parents.  She is a person with character; she is honest, straightforward, and personable.

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Dr. Bissell is married to Matt Bissell, a fellow educator who currently teaches at Berkeley High School.  They have a son and a daughter, ages six and three respectively.  In her spare time, she enjoys watching documentaries and traveling with her family.

When accepting her appointment as Upper School Head at SFDS, Dr. Bissell said, "I am thrilled to be a part of the SFDS family. How did I know we’d be a good match for each other?  When I saw the passion, zest, and love for learning in both the students AND the staff!  From the young people to the parents and leadership, everyone demonstrated a love for the school and a commitment to inclusion.  I am truly honored to be selected to be the Upper School Head."

We would like to thank the Advisory Committee, comprised of upper school faculty and staff, for carving out time in their busy schedules to find the right person for this position.  Thank you also to our parents, students, trustees, and other faculty and staff members for their engagement and investment in this process.  Finally, we would also like to extend my deep appreciation to our search consultants Lee Miller of CalWest Educators and Mary Rose Fernandez for their collective guidance, insight, and wisdom.

We look ahead to July 1st with excitement for the future of San Francisco Day School.  Incoming Head of School Dr. Mike Walker remarked, "I could not be happier with the outcome of this search. As we got to know Dr. Bissell, and experienced the depth of her thoughtfulness and the warmth of her spirit, we knew she was the one we were looking for.  One of her current colleagues shared how Dr. Bissell, an Assistant Principal at the time, approached her after an assembly with the organization Beyond Differences and simply said, 'What can I do to help.'  Her colleague said with that simple statement, she went on to create programs that inspired countless children to not only see each other, but to treat each other in kinder, gentler ways. Dr. Bissell and I have shared with each other our strong, visceral attraction to the mission and energy of the SFDS community.  I look forward to joining all of you in welcoming her."

We all share Dr. Walker's sentiment and his confidence in our decision to welcome Dr. Bissell to SFDS.  It is rewarding to know our community has put the right leaders in place to carry forward our mission to keep San Francisco Day School education, and its students, at the forefront of academic excellence.

Community Reception with Dr. Walker

January 30, 2015 

Mark Your Calendar! February 23, 2015 at 6:00-8:00 p.m., SFDS

Our incoming head of school, Dr. Mike Walker, will be visiting SFDS to meet and visit with our families. We hope you can join us, as Dr. Walker is looking forward to getting to know our community! Here are details for the evening:
6:00-6:30 p.m. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres
6:30-7:00 p.m. Remarks from Dr. Walker
7:00-8:00 p.m. More refreshments and conversation
Childcare by AEP is available for students currently enrolled at SFDS.
Please RSVP:

Celebrating Dr. Jackson

January 23, 2015 

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
                                                                                                                    ~ A. A. Milne
Dear San Francisco Day School Community,
As Milne notes, saying good-bye is never easy, especially to someone as beloved as our Head of School, Dr. David E. Jackson.  Dr. Jackson has devoted over forty years of his working life to shaping, nurturing, and educating students.  This June, David will be retiring, and we are so fortunate that he chose to spend these last eight years with us at SFDS.
To celebrate Dr. Jackson’s legacy and to give him a proper good-bye, a variety of events will take place that will allow our community to show its gratitude to Dr. Jackson.  A few of the key events and activities are summarized below for your reference.  And while it seems like the last eight years have flown by, the next five months will pass in the blink of an eye, so please mark your calendars accordingly to make sure you don’t miss the party.
Key Events & Activities:

Community Celebration Party:
Thursday, May 21st | 6:30-9:00 p.m. at SFDS
At this cocktail event for adults, the school community will come together and celebrate Dr. Jackson’s time at SFDS and thank him for everything he has done for our school and children.  More details and a Save-the-Date to come . . .
Dr. David E. Jackson Day – Field Day:
Monday, June 8th

Students will have an opportunity to celebrate Dr. Jackson during this inaugural annual school-wide event.
Thank You Memory Book:
We are gathering memories and thanks from children, parents, alumni and alumni families in a Thank You book for Dr. Jackson. Look for more information via emails and in the upcoming Week Ahead, in the Dr. Jackson Corner.
The David E. Jackson Fund:
Announced in the Spring of 2014, this special fund is part of the Endowing Excellence Campaign and honors the leadership of Dr. Jackson and his commitment to deepen the implementation of the School’s mission and founding values.  Income from the fund supports faculty professional development, differentiated instruction, and discounted tuition at SFDS.  For more information on how you can contribute, please contact Vanessa Alexander at
Other Things to Come:
Please look for more details regarding class grade and faculty specific events, which will be shared in the coming months.
If you have any questions or ideas you would like to share, please send an email to: or feel free to reach out to a member of the host committee below.  You can also visit for updates.
It is not yet time to say good-bye, but let’s make sure we are ready to send Dr. Jackson off in style!
Community Celebration Host Committee