June 2, 2022: EPS Head of School Search – Important Information

A Message from the Board of Trustees
Dear Eastside Prep Community,

On behalf of the Eastside Preparatory School Head of School Search Committee and the Board of Trustees, it is our distinct honor to announce that upon the unanimous recommendation of the Search Committee to the Board and the unanimous affirmation of the Committee’s recommendation by the full Board, Sam Uzwack will become the next Head of School (HOS) beginning July 1, 2023.

The Board appointed a diverse group of Trustees, an EPS Founder and a representative of the staff and faculty to the Search Committee, chaired by Mehrane Mokdad. The Committee was charged with clearly stating EPS priorities in the HOS search, establishing a diligent search process, gathering and analyzing data, sourcing and evaluating candidates, and ultimately recommending to the Board a candidate for the next HOS. The Committee embarked on this endeavor with explicit fidelity to the mission and values of EPS and with a deep recognition of our strategic and fiduciary responsibilities. The Board and Committee thank the many community members, faculty and staff who spoke with us and our consultants, Carney Sandoe & Associates, and who provided feedback about the school’s present state and your views on our future.

The Committee decided to evaluate internal candidates from EPS using our established search process and selection criteria prior to soliciting external candidates with agreement that we would continue with an external search if we were not able to recommend an internal candidate. Internal candidates were publicly solicited, and Sam Uzwack was the sole internal candidate who provided a letter of interest and statement of intent. Sam had staunch support as the next HOS from every group from which we received feedback. He has been the EPS Middle School Head since 2009 and for the last two years additionally served EPS as the Associate Head of School for Middle School and Student Support Services.

The Committee formally interviewed Sam and discussed with him a variety of topics that allowed us to evaluate his thinking and perspective on issues illustrative of the necessary characteristics and skills that the Committee had previously set forth. The Committee additionally conducted interviews of references. At the conclusion of this deliberative process, it was clear to the Committee that Sam met all the requirements of the Committee and was exceedingly qualified to be the next Head of School. Carney Sandoe & Associates, our external consultants, stated that they also believed Sam to be an outstanding candidate to successfully succeed Dr. Macaluso as the next Head of School.

We heard during the search process that the culture of EPS is the secret sauce that makes EPS a special place. We heard how important a culture of community was and how the school’s mission and values inform what happens every day. We learned how highly valued our teachers are and we heard from our teachers how supported they feel.

We also heard that we were a decisive school. Given our confidence in Sam, the Committee elected to be decisive as well. The unanimous recommendation and Board approval of Sam as the next Head of School is a definitive statement of our conviction of Sam’s ability to lead EPS. It was also a declaration that we need to look no further and could thus bring the search process to an early close.

The state of our school is strong, both as assessed in the ongoing work of the Board of Trustees and validated by the independent assessment of our external consultants. As our twentieth anniversary approaches, we look forward to celebrating EPS and Dr. Macaluso in her final year as Head of School in 2022-2023. This year will also allow the Board and EPS a smooth and effective transition to Sam’s leadership for the 2023-2024 school year. Please join us in congratulating Sam and welcoming him to his new post.

Mehrane Mokdad Mack Hinson, MD
Search Committee Chair Board President
On behalf of the Search Committee On behalf of the Board of Trustees

March 10, 2022: Consultant and Search Committee Named

A Message from the Board of Trustees

Dear Eastside Prep Community,

Since Dr. Macaluso announced that she would not seek to renew her contract after the end of the 2022-2023 school year, the Board of Trustees has been busy setting the stage for a successful Head of School search process. Today, we would like to share some important updates with you.

The Board of Trustees bears ultimate responsibility for hiring a new Head of School. We have accomplished two important initial milestones in the search process.

Firstly, the Board has engaged the services of Carney Sandoe & Associates (CS&A), a leading national recruitment firm. With the help of CS&A, we have launched a comprehensive search for our new Head of School. We are confident that this position will receive great interest and attract a talented pool of candidates. The principal consultants collaborating with us are Bob Fricker, Karen Whitaker and Chaya Keefe, who together bring a wealth of experience leading executive searches, including succession searches for long tenured and/or founding heads of school. They additionally bring a strong network of connections throughout independent schools. Their team will be visiting campus March 17-18 to meet with members of our community and gain a broader perspective of our needs and thoughts about the next Head of School. The schedule for their visit will be announced shortly. A community-wide confidential survey will be sent from CS&A immediately after their visit. There will be ample opportunity for community involvement and discussion throughout the process.

Secondly, the Board has appointed a Search Committee to be chaired by Mehrane Mokdad, the current Vice-President of the Board, incoming Board President, and the parent of EPS students in the 7th & 9th grades. The Search Committee is also comprised of the following members:

  • Chris Li, Board Secretary, parent of EPS 11th grader
  • Scott Haeger, Board Treasurer, parent of EPS 11th grader and an EPS graduate
  • Mack Hinson, Board President 2019-present, parent of EPS 9th and 10th graders and two EPS graduates
  • Amy Pannoni, Board Trustee, parent of EPS 7th and 9th graders
  • Alicia Moreno Gonzalez, Board Trustee, parent of EPS 7th and 10th graders
  • Amit Bhutani, Board Trustee, parent of EPS 8th grader
  • Patricia Friel, an EPS founder, Board Member emerita, former faculty, and parent of an EPS graduate
  • Bart Gummere, Associate Head of School for College Counseling and Alumni Relations, former EPS US Head, and former faculty

The Search Committee is responsible for ensuring a thorough process, vetting potential candidates, and making a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for the final hiring decision. Please be assured that we are committed to an inclusive process. We welcome your thoughts, questions, and suggestions at You can find additional information about the search at

Throughout the process, we are committed to keeping the community informed while also respecting the confidentiality of the candidate recruitment process. We anticipate the search will continue through the spring and summer with a candidate selection in early fall.

Eastside Prep is an extraordinary school, and this is an exciting time in its history. On behalf of our Head of School Search Committee and the Board of Trustees, we look forward to collaborating with you on this endeavor.

Mehrane Mokdad Mack Hinson, MD
Search Committee Chair Board President

December 17, 2021: Leadership Transition Announcement

A Message from the Head of School

Dear Mack,

With appreciation for the opportunities afforded me over the past twenty years, and with a genuine sense of pride in our shared accomplishments, I wish to advise the Board that I will not seek renewal of my contract after the 2022-2023 academic year. My final day at EPS will be June 30, 2023.

It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed. From sixteen students to 520, from five employees to 120, from a $375,000 annual operating budget to $23MM, and from office park to collegiate campus—it isn’t a miracle at all; it’s the product of hundreds of thousands of human hours conspiring to turn some innovative ideas into reality.Today the school is financially stable, programmatically innovative, and filled with extraordinary teachers and staff members—many of whom have been at EPS for over fifteen years. I could never leave EPS without 100% confidence that the next Head of School will be receiving a gift, created over long years by many, many people who gave all that was required to create this extraordinary community asset.

I am grateful to the dozens of Trustees, with whom I have had the good fortune to work for more than 20 years, for their consistent and genuine support and for their remarkable generosity. I am in awe of my colleagues on the Senior Leadership Team; I count the time I’ve spent with them among the most meaningful, productive—and hilarious—days, months, and years of my career.

In fifty years of working in education—most of it in independent schools—in all that time, I have never worked with a faculty and staff composed of such talented, kind, ethical—and hilarious people. I’ve hired every person currently employed by EPS; their contribution to the school’s successful evolution will carry it through the next twenty years.

Our parent and student community have done so much to cultivate the culture we enjoy today. Their support and cooperation throughout the school’s life—especially during the past 2 years of planetary disorientation—have helped to produce a kind and positive “home away from home” for all of us.

EPS is the culminating experience of my professional life. The people I’ve met, the ingenuity that I’ve encountered, the energy and dedication I observe every day, have conspired to make the final decades of my career profoundly satisfying with vivid memories of our communal achievements.

Over the next eighteen months I will provide whatever support and transitional guidance I’m asked to provide, and I will look forward, enthusiastically, to the next chapters of the Eastside Prep story. Let’s continue to enjoy our time together, to make the learning experience for students the best it can be, and to express—freely and authentically—the gratitude we owe to one another.

Terry Macaluso, PhD
Head of School

A Message from the Board of Trustees

Dear Terry,

It is my bittersweet duty to accept notice of your decision not to seek renewal of your contract after the 2022- 2023 school year. It is also an action I take with profound confidence in the future of EPS.

We are all indebted to you for your vision and your ability to turn a dream into something that adapts to meet the needs of our students in an everchanging world. We are also indebted to the founders of EPS who, with you, through times of challenge, pulled and prodded this idea into reality. Your partnership with the founders and subsequent leaders of EPS is remarkable for its collaboration and durability.

The first EPS students came to an office park for school. Today, we have a campus which provides amazing spaces for our students to learn. We have the very appropriately named The Macaluso Academic Collaborative, a physical manifestation of the nexus of inquiry, experimentation, debate, and growth that you so ably have nurtured and developed over the past two decades. The remodeled Middle School is only weeks away. And our sports teams win games. My, how times have changed!

The most important thing, however, has not changed: the culture that defines EPS. It is this culture that has attracted and retained the amazing faculty and staff we have. It is a culture of good cheer and laughter. It is a culture that leads parents to support the school with their  time and their resources. It is a culture of thinking, acting, leading, and innovating from which our students and all of us associated with EPS have benefited.

I would be remiss not to point out that your leadership during almost two years of the pandemic has been—and continues to be—exceptional. Our students, faculty and staff owe a deep debt of gratitude to you for your creativity, initiative, and direction through this extraordinary time of challenge.

We brought our son to an EPS open house a decade ago. He walked out of it and said quite simply, “This is where I belong.” So do we all, because of you.

The Board has initiated the process of selecting a new Head of School to begin in July 2023. We anticipate the search process will last until the end of the current school year. We will be providing periodic updates to the community as the search progresses.

As we look to the twentieth anniversary of EPS and to your leave-taking as our Head of School, we do so with assurance. EPS is strong academically, financially, and culturally. The school could not be better positioned to transition to the next generation of leadership. “Learning and fun,” you once said, “should not be mutually exclusive.” In this spirit, we look forward to celebrating EPS and celebrating you and your accomplishments with laughter and joy in the coming eighteen months.

Roger Mack Hinson, MD
Board President