Dear Lick-Wilmerding Community,
On behalf of the Lick-Wilmerding Board of Trustees and the Head of School Search Committee, we are honored and thrilled to announce that Raj Mundra
has been selected as our next Head of School starting July 1, 2023. Raj will succeed Katie Titus
, our Interim Head of School, who will be with us for the 2022–2023 school year.
Leading with “humility, empathy, and gratitude,” Raj brings a wealth of independent school leadership experience to Lick-Wilmerding High School. He joins LWHS from Phillips Academy Andover, where he was recently named Deputy Head of School for Academics and Student Affairs. Raj has more than 30 years of experience in independent school education, including 25 years at Andover as a biology teacher, senior administrator, house counselor, and athletics coach. Prior to his role as Deputy Head of School, Raj’s leadership positions at Andover included Dean of Studies, Associate Dean of Students, Residential Dean, and Assistant Dean of the Community and Multicultural Development Office. He has also served as Deputy Head, Secondary School, at the Aga Khan Academy in Kenya.
Raj impressed the Search Committee with his dedication to academic excellence, passion for public purpose and commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). At Andover, he advocates for and leads the academic program for 1,150 students, 170 teaching faculty, 18 departments and 300+ courses, providing vision, resources and support to deliver an innovative and highly regarded teaching and learning environment. Raj founded, and has led, Andover’s flagship international service learning program, Niswarth (Hindi for “not for self”), for 15 years and has developed numerous student leadership programs including Be LOVED (Living Our Values Every Day).
Raj’s deep commitment to the principles of DEI is reflected in his work at Andover where he led efforts to promote inclusive pedagogical practices in the curriculum; worked with department chairs to create DEI frameworks for the teaching departments; developed the CAMD Scholar program, an innovative summer independent research program focused on multiculturalism; collaborated with the Dean of Faculty to oversee hiring and evaluation practices to build and support a diverse faculty; and served as a co-leader of the Andover Faculty Men of Color group. In each of his roles, Raj’s work is grounded in the belief that for students to engage meaningfully and sustainably with a strong, academic liberal arts program, they must also know that they feel safe (intellectually, emotionally, psychologically and physically) and that they belong (being comfortable, feeling connected, and contributing in different ways).
Reflecting on his appointment, Raj shares:
“I am thrilled and honored to join the Lick-Wilmerding community as your Head of School starting in the summer of 2023. As I am learning about the school, so many students and adults have shared stories of opportunity, support, connectedness and challenge. I continue to hear and feel a lot of love, joy and pride! Everything about the school – the space, light, schedule, graduation requirements, sustainable facilities, admissions approach, athletic spirit, faculty recruitment, arts performances, and budget - all support student belonging and learning. That level of alignment is powerful and palpable.
The mission to be a private school with a public purpose for the past 127 years is also evident in your commitment to a diverse and inclusive community, and the values of service, leadership and citizenship. Walking through the workshops, I was learning how the distinctive technical arts program with a focus on design, creativity and innovation are an essential part of a rigorous liberal arts program. That is brilliant! The Center for Civic Engagement is a model for how young people should engage with their local, national and global communities. There is an inspiration and hunger for students to make a difference and Lick-Wilmerding is the environment for them to flourish.
Your beloved community brings out the best in every person – and I am now grateful to be a part of that. I look forward to meeting all of you virtually or in-person soon.”
In addition to his outstanding experience and credentials, we are delighted to have found in Raj a warm and thoughtful leader who loves supporting teenagers. While in senior leadership roles, Raj has also served in the classroom as a biology teacher, on the field as a football coach, and also as an academic advisor and club advisor. We are inspired by his commitment to helping each student “pursue their truest self, discern ideologies, commit to the public good, and live a responsible, fulfilling life.”
Raj’s appointment is the culmination of a comprehensive, international search guided by our outstanding search committee
and consultants from Russell Reynolds Associates. This search was informed by the invaluable feedback gathered from our school community during multiple listening sessions with faculty and staff, parenting adults, students, alumni, current members of the leadership team and the Board of Trustees. The information collected from these sessions–hopes, aspirations, challenges, and ideas–formed the basis of the head of school position description and guided every step of our process.
We look forward to introducing Raj to each of you in September and will be scheduling several opportunities both in-person and via zoom. Raj and his wife, Kavita, and their two adult sons, Akshay and Ishaan, are thrilled to be relocating to the Bay Area where they have many friends, and we look forward to welcoming them.
We sincerely thank all members of the LWHS community for your support and engagement in this search process
. We are particularly grateful to the dedication of our search committee members who put in long hours over many months, and for the continued support and leadership of our Board of Trustees.
We wish you an enjoyable summer and look forward to having you meet both Katie and Raj this fall.
Lara Witter Kim Drew Shabnam Koirala Azad
Board of Trustees, Chair Search Committee Co-Chair Search Committee Co-Chair