In April 2021, Seven Hills announced that it would conduct a search for its next Head of the Lower School to be in place for the 2022-23 school year. We began that process this past fall with the goal of naming the new Head by January 2022.
The established committee was clear about what they wanted for their next leader—an experienced lower school educator with a deep commitment to child development. There was great interest in the position, and on behalf of the search committee, we are very pleased to announce that the next Head of Lower School will be Jennifer Arnest.
Jennifer has more than 25 years of experience in independent schools, on the west coast and overseas, and is driven by the work of building coherent, values-based, progressive educational models for children, their parents, and our communities. She will come to us from San Francisco Friends School, where she has been the Lower School Head since 2008—leading their professional community and developing and overseeing programs for all 225 lower school students. Her background in a Quaker school has reinforced her commitments to an education that balances both tradition and innovation, is rooted in thoughtful pedagogy, and is centered on child development and community values.
Jennifer rose as the top candidate for her extensive background in lower school teaching and her collaborative and empathetic leadership style. She also brings a lot of experience in DEI work including working with faculty to understand how to bring a DEI lens to their curriculum, and rolling out lower school affinity groups. Jennifer is a lifelong learner with an eye on current educational research and trends. After her visit day, Jennifer mentioned being impressed by the alignment in Seven Hills’ pedagogy, mission, and values as well as the authentic spirit that runs through our community and beautiful campus. She is excited to live the Seven Hills mission, share her experience with all of us, and partner with our innovative educators.
Prior to educational leadership, Jennifer was a Kindergarten and 1st grade teacher at Mills College Children’s School (Oakland) and 1st grade teacher at The Nueva School (Hillsborough). She holds a master's degree in early childhood education from Mills College. Outside of school, you can find Jennifer at a weekend farmers’ market, cooking good food, and keeping up with her teenagers’ sports and creative activities.
Please join us in welcoming Jennifer Arnest to our community effective July 1, 2022. We are confident that Jennifer’s seasoned expertise in teaching and learning, hiring, team building, enrollment, and diversity work will continue to nourish children with new skills and knowledge and enhance their experience in Lower School and across campus.