Head of School search

Update (26 October 2022)

Dear ASL community,

We are excited to announce that the Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to appoint Matthew Horvat as ASL’s next Head of School, effective 1 July 2023. We are delighted he has accepted the position, and we are confident that Matt possesses the relevant experience as well as the personal characteristics needed to successfully lead ASL into our next exciting chapter.

Matt currently serves as Head of School at The Overlake School in Redmond, Washington, and he will take up his position as Head of School at ASL with distinguished credentials and experience. Matt earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in history, followed by a master’s degree in mathematics and teaching from Boston University. He has also done significant coursework in nonprofit management at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Matt has served in administrative positions at the Collegiate School and Browning School in New York City, and prior to his current position, served successfully as High School Principal at University of Chicago Laboratory School. Additionally, Matt has significant teaching experience in mathematics and information technology at independent schools, both nationally and internationally at Taipei American School, and he currently teaches Grade 7 algebra at Overlake. His professional associations include board service for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the Northwest Association of Independent Schools.

Matt knows the job of Head of School well, having successfully served for more than 10 years at Overlake, an academically excellent and extremely well-regarded independent school that has thrived under his leadership. Students do well on all measurable metrics such as standardized testing and college placements, although not at the cost of their emotional well-being. As a result of his focus on faculty growth and improvement, teachers are valued, inspired and energized by his leadership. Overlake is in high demand from Seattle’s diverse, international community, many of whom are drawn to the area’s tech industry.

Matt’s references were consistently outstanding. Board members, senior leaders, teachers and parents were eager to speak with us and were universally positive. What really stood out was how much each person we spoke to respects and cares for Matt. They conveyed that the strength of his character contributed to a healthy school culture, resulting in a highly effective organization. Some quotes that we heard repeatedly: “authentic,” “leans into collaboration,” “thrives on relationships,” “seeks out hard feedback,” and “high EQ.” In testament to Matt’s ability to build strong relationships, all referees expressed that they would miss Matt’s leadership and presence, but they were grateful for all that he had given to and done for their school, and that they wanted the best for him.

Matt is intentional about creating school culture through strong collaboration and listening. He incorporates a solid understanding of multiple perspectives before deciding upon a course of action. One teacher, who remembers Matt’s arrival at Overlake, told us that when Matt arrives at ASL, “he will first seek to understand.” Others told us how he deliberately sets out to learn from his community via forums, small group meetings and surveys.

We have been particularly impressed by Matt’s ability to guide his school through the challenges presented by recent global events. This includes effectively teaching students during COVID lockdowns as well as building community despite the politically fractured atmosphere currently present in the US. During COVID, parents and teachers praised Overlake’s decisive actions and frequent and clear communications. In his approach to cultural competency work, Matt has demonstrated a deep understanding of the Overlake community and found a path that works for the students, parents and faculty. Given what we know about his ability to listen, understand and make the right choices for the community he serves, we are confident that Matt’s approach to community building and cultural competency will be one that will be equally successful at ASL.

There are many other strengths that we could share about Matt, including his extensive knowledge of curriculum, accreditation expertise, strategic planning and implementation, financial acumen and significant fundraising experience. We expect you already have a good sense of his experience in these important matters from his application materials.

On the personal side, Matt will come to ASL with his wife, Susan Fine, a teacher and educator in her own right. Matt and Susan have two sons, Alex and Matteo, who attend New York University and Andover, respectively. Matt was also a competitive collegiate rower and is a marathoner and triathlete, as well as a coach to students throughout his career.

Thank you for your engagement and participation in the search process. We received thorough and thoughtful feedback from a significant number of our community, all of it valuable. There will be a thorough transition and handover process with Matt, the Board of Trustees, Coreen and the Senior Leadership Team over the coming months.

We are confident in Matt’s ability to provide strong, thoughtful, and inspirational leadership, and his commitment to each student thriving. We know he is the leader we need at this moment in ASL's journey, and we are incredibly excited to welcome him.


Erin Roth P ’15 ’16 ’21
Chair, Board of Trustees

Hahnah Seminara P ’24 ’27 ’30, Trustee
Co-chair, Head of School Search Committee

Kavi Thakrar P ’29 ’31, Trustee
Co-chair, Head of School Search Committee

Frequently asked questions

Thoughts or questions?

contact the Search Committee

Head of School search communication archive:

Members of the Search Committee include board members:

  • Hahnah Seminara (Co-chair)
  • Kavi Thakrar (Co-chair)
  • Darren Allaway
  • Alison MacDougald
  • Sherine Magar-Sawiris
  • Erin Roth
  • Nikos Stathopoulos

Faculty, staff and school administration are represented by:

  • Megan Gomm
  • Jen Kirstein
  • Ruksana Murtaza
  • Matt Twiest