Special Announcement

Special Announcement

Dear Lighthouse School Families and Friends,

On behalf of Nantucket Lighthouse School’s Board of Trustees, we wish you a happy and healthy New Year.

This year, our beloved school turns twenty years old. It is gratifying to think back on these last two decades and take inventory of where we stand in 2019.


· We offer an unparalleled pre-K-8 education; we have had a waitlist for our Small School program for the last three consecutive years.


· Through initiatives such as the Nantucket License Plate project, the Educational Speaker Series, and Little Lighthouse playgroup, as well as events like the Yuletide Fair and Nantucket Garden Festival, our school has attracted the interest and respect of thousands of community members every year.


· We have a motivated and committed Board of Trustees who have helped the school maintain a conservative and balanced budget.


Emily Miller, our outstanding and dedicated Head of School for the last seven years, has excelled at cultivating the school’s growth while preserving its founding ideals, mission and philosophy. Her deep educational expertise and thoughtful leadership have strengthened and nurtured our integrated, project-based curriculum, providing a role model that has solidified Nantucket Lighthouse School’s reputation as a leader in education in our community.


A Farewell

Consequently, it is with sadness, but with deep appreciation and admiration, that the Nantucket Lighthouse School Board of Trustees announces the departure of Head of School Emily Miller, effective June 30, 2019.


Emily will be leaving the Nantucket Lighthouse School to assume a position in the Boston area. Her decision is based on the progression of her own career; it honors her strong desire to return to work more focused on teacher development, student learning, and curricular and pedagogical practices. Please find Emily’s letter to the Lighthouse School Community below.

Our Search Process

After Emily spoke with us about her intentions last Fall, our Board of Trustees moved swiftly and appointed a Search and Transition Committee, led by Co-Chairs Maryann Hedaa (Trustee of NLS Board) and Jane Miller (former NLS Board Chair). This committee (comprised of Board members, parents, faculty, staff, and former Board members) was tasked with the exciting search for Nantucket Lighthouse School’s next Head of School. The criteria were clear from the beginning: In addition to having superb educational credentials and experience, and a commitment to the child-centered education NLS offers, our ideal candidate should, one, be familiar with our school and, two, know the Nantucket community.


“The Head of School has to understand what it means to educate the whole person, engage parents, and provide the management and leadership competencies to take the school to its next level,” Maryann Hedaa, Transition Committee Co-Chair


The members of the Search and Transition Committee and the Board of Trustees are enthusiastic and confident that we have the right person to launch us into the next phase of Nantucket Lighthouse School’s promising and exciting future.


A Welcome

We are immensely pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has voted, unanimously, to appoint Christine Braunohler Hanson as Nantucket Lighthouse School’s next Head of School, effective July 1, 2019.


Christine possesses the skills, energy, creativity, and experience required, to meet the needs of Nantucket Lighthouse School’s future goals. We feel grateful, and fortunate, to welcome such a well qualified incoming Head of School at this important point in the school’s history. We look forward to introducing her to the NLS community and to working with her as the school continues into its third decade.


Christine, a former Lighthouse School parent, received her Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Mills College. With an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College, Christine has spent the past thirteen years teaching, designing curricula, and leading professional development opportunities for educators. A long-time summer resident, Christine is moving to Nantucket from Oakland, California with her husband, Chris, and their three children, Avery, Zeal and Sidney. We will be sharing more about Christine in the near future. For now, we invite you to learn more about her on the NLS Blog.


“I am so thrilled to be joining the Nantucket Lighthouse School community. Being an NLS parent in 2016 transformed my view as an educator. Seeing such a pure manifestation of ‘whole child’ education reminded me of why I started teaching in 2006. Thank you for warmly welcoming me into this inspiring and inspired school.” Christine Braunohler Hanson



Looking Ahead

Transition in leadership, especially one that includes a heartfelt good-bye to a beloved and trusted Head of School, in tandem with an exciting new beginning, is often accompanied by questions. We invite you to join us and Emily for an informal conversation over coffee and refreshments with representatives from our Board of Trustees and Transition Committee at tomorrow’s Parent Coffee, from 8:30 to 9:30 am, at Nantucket Lighthouse School’s Rugged Road Campus.

With deep gratitude for Emily and great enthusiasm for our future with Christine,

Mark Lucas                                              Kitty Pochman
Chair, NLS Board of Trustees                Vice-Chair, NLS Board of Trustees



Board of Trustees

Mark Lucas, Chair
Kitty Pochman, Vice -Chair
Neil Marttila, Treasurer
Joni Amaral, Faculty Rep.
Lizbet Fuller, Emerita
Serena Wilkie Gifford
Maryann Hedaa
Jim Houghton
Carol Jarrett
Robert McCann
Charity Grace Mofsen
Stephen O’Brien
Rachael Freeman Slosek
Candice Tetrault
Mary Taaffe


Board of Advisors

Susan, O’Brien, Chair
D. Anne Atherton
Charity Benz
Joe Guay
Cary Hazlegrove
Larry LebowitzRobert Sarkisian
Connie Umberger


Transition Committee

Maryann Hedaa, Co-Chair
Jane Miller, Co-Chair
D. Anne Atherton
Cary Hazlegrove
Mark Lucas
Charity Grace Mofsen
Stephen O’Brien
Susan O’Brien
Kitty Pochman
Barrie Sanders
Candice Tetrault
Barbara Zachary