Administration

HEAD OF SCHOOL

Head of School SANDI PASSALACQUA brings more than 40 years of experience in education to The Healdsburg School. Spanning her career, Ms. Passalacqua has been a teacher in public, private and parochial educational institutions. In addition to teaching, Ms. Passalacqua has held numerous positions within education, some of which include tutor, consultant, and principal. She worked in Special Education, and designed and implemented ESL and Title I programs, as well as foreign language curriculums. She has traveled extensively and sought to create unique travel opportunities for her own students. She holds a Masters of Education, and is an accomplished painter and pianist. She is married to Tom Passalacqua and has three children and eight grandchildren.


ASSOCIATE HEAD OF SCHOOL

Nicholas Egan NICHOLAS EGAN, Ph.D., Associate Head of School.  Nicholas has served as Assistant Dean of Students, History Department Head, and Lead Teacher for sixth grade at Sonoma Country Day School. He has also taught an innovative world religions program emphasizing critical thinking through studying foundational beliefs and practices of major religious traditions. Nicholas has helped design and implement an in-depth Social & Emotional Learning curriculum that integrates emotional awareness, healthy relationships, and ethical decision making. He was recently honored with a lifetime Sara D. Barter Fellowship from Johns Hopkins University for his achievement in working with talented youth.

Nicholas has a lifelong interest in travel and has led cultural and educational tours for children and adults to destinations including Bhutan, Mongolia, Nepal, Thailand, and Tibet. A dedicated educator, he has developed innovative programs and close connections with students, faculty, and parents. He is excited to bring his love of travel, world cultures, and philosophy to The Healdsburg School and looks forward to continuing to inspire students to become lifelong learners. Nicholas currently lives in Santa Rosa with his wife Angela and two year old daughter, Lily.


DIRECTOR OF ADMISSION

CRISTIN TALLEY, Director of Admission, first joined THS as the fourth grade teacher in 2009.  Cristin brings a broad perspective to the Admission Office having been a classroom teacher for fourteen years and a principal at an international school in Costa Rica for two years.  Cristin received her formal education training at Tufts University in Boston and upon graduating entered the United States Peace Corps, serving in Haiti and Costa Rica.  Having lived and served abroad, Cristin was particularly drawn to THS’s vision of implementing the Primary Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate Organization which holds developing students’ global consciousness as one of its core values.  Cristin is dedicated to creating positive connections with current and new families, and she is eager to share THS’s unique educational program with the broader community. 


DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Paula Dougherty was born and raised in the Catskill Mountain region of Upstate New York. She graduated from the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York in 1983. Upon graduation, Paula worked with the famed chef, Albert Kumin, whose many prestigious accomplishments included work as the pastry chef for the White House. Paula spent approximately twenty years in the food industry, cooking, baking, teaching health and nutrition and eventually owning her own restaurant in New Mexico. When her son was born however, she decided it was time to hang up her apron and change to a career path that would provide her with more time to raise her child. Combining her love for children with her administrative skills, Paula began work as an education administrator. For Paula, The Healdsburg School has not only been a wonderful place to work, but it was also an amazing educational experience for her son Mackenzie, who graduated in 2010.

In her spare time, Paula enjoys cooking, mountain biking and traveling with her family. Her dream is to write a novel which she hopes to get started on very soon