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Dear Members of the Lake Forest Academy Community,

On behalf of the Lake Forest Academy Board of Trustees, I congratulate Head of School José M. De Jesús P’22 on his appointment as Head of School at The Dalton School in New York City, effective July 1, 2022. At the November 6 meeting of the LFA Board of Trustees, we accepted the bittersweet news of José’s planned departure.

As we all know, José’s children are the center of his universe. This decision allows his son to attend high school in the community where he grew up. I have always respected José's family-first orientation.

José has been an exemplary leader and outstanding steward of LFA’s resources since his appointment in 2019. In a time of extraordinary challenges due to the pandemic, through the hard work of José as a leader and the entire LFA community, our School was able to remain open for in-person learning for the benefit of our students and their families. Under José's leadership, the Academy has reached new heights in terms of our strategic goals:

  • LFA is fully-enrolled with 437 students from 40 countries and 15 states.
  • First-rate faculty have been hired including five faculty this year who have doctoral degrees combined with great teaching credentials adding to LFA’s already strong educational staff.
  • LFA constructed new housing in Atlass Hall to enhance the on-campus presence of boarding faculty.
  • The School’s athletics program for girls has been elevated through strategic hiring.
  • The School’s endowment has topped $60 million for the first time in history.

José will leave the Academy in June 2022 in excellent condition.

Lake Forest Academy is well positioned for continued success with an engaged community of students, parents, faculty and staff, alumni, and alumni parents. The Board has appointed a Head of School Transition Committee to organize a search for José’s successor. The Committee is a diverse group of trustees who are alumni, current parents, an alumni parent, and a former faculty member:

  • Ms. Jessica P. Douglas ’96, Chair
  • Mr. Charles T. Cooper ’96
  • Mr. Jim C. Cowart ’69
  • Ms. Gloria Harper P’93
  • Dr. Ahmed Farag P’22, ’24
  • Mrs. Karin Fink P’22, ’23

This group has already begun the search for the next great leader of LFA who will embrace our mission and build on the strengths of our school and community.


John S. Marlatt signature

John S. Marlatt ’65
Chair, Board of Trustees