A process that began in early November resulted in Los Angeles Loyola High School alumnus Scott McLarty being named Providence High School’s next Head of School.
The Providence High School board of regents unanimously voted on March 14 to accept the recommendation of its search committee, led by co-chairs Erica Menke and Tim Chan.
The search committee worked in conjunction with the Rhode Island-based firm Educational Directions, which began the search process shortly after current head of school, Joe Sciuto, announced on Nov. 1 he would be stepping down to take a similar position at Pasadena Mayfield Junior School.
Providence’s board and Providence St. Joseph Health released a statement on March 20 announcing the decision, followed by school officials making the announcement via social media on March 22.
“To our delight, the extensive national search surfaced a strong candidate pool,” wrote board chair Stuart Posin, along with Menke and Chan, in the joint statement. “Taking into consideration the various aspects of private independent Catholic school administration, the board, in consultation with the search committee, determined that Scott is the most qualified applicant for the position.”
Although McLarty has accepted the job, he won’t officially begin until July 1.
“Three things stand out to me: the mission, vision and community at Providence High School,” McLarty said in an email to the Burbank Leader. “The most important thing for me in choosing Providence High School is its mission to promote the common good, especially for the lives and well-being of the poor and vulnerable. This is a conviction of mine.”
McLarty is currently an independent consultant with Lake Arrowhead-based Lifelong Learning & Associates, an educational consultancy group. His last executive position was as head of school and chief executive of San Francisco Mercy High School, an all-girls institution, from July 2016 to June 2018.
At least one former colleague sang his praises.
“I really enjoyed working with Scott,” said Anna Adams, theology department chair at Mercy. “He was a very forward-thinking leader with great ideas. I always found him to be grounded and approachable. The community at Providence is lucky to have him as head of school.”
Endorsements such as those stood out during the selection process.
“An important responsibility of the search committee was to speak to Scott’s references,” Posin, Menke and Chan wrote in Providence’s statement. “Scott is described as an energetic visionary with the ability to take a refreshing look at all facets of school life. He is inclusive, clear with expectations, and collegial, while maintaining his focus on mission and vision.”
McLarty was also previously director of admissions at San Jose Bellarmine College Preparatory, a teacher at San Francisco St. Ignatius College Prep and an adjunct professor at DePaul University in a career that spans 16 years in Catholic education. His first job was as a teacher at Loyola High, where he graduated in 1997.
“In some ways, Catholic schools haven’t changed at all — they are still about offering an excellent education and forming the heads, hearts and hands of students,” McLarty said in his email.“At the same time, Catholic education looks remarkably different than it did 20 years ago.”
He added, “The best Catholic schools, like Providence High School, have transformed teaching and learning to better prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing world and solve complex real-life problems.”