Head of School Search

Dear Co-op School Community, 

The Board of Trustees is delighted to announce that Chloe Smith will be The Co-op School’s next Head of School. The culmination of a robust (and intensive!) nationwide search, we couldn’t be happier to have uncovered an exceptional leader right in our own backyard: Chloe is a Brooklyn native, deeply tied to the Brooklyn independent school landscape, and lives in Bed-Stuy! Chloe’s dynamism, experience as a thoughtful, student-centered administrator, and innate passion for our school and its values make her the ideal choice to lead the school into its future. She will carry the torch from Deanna Bocchetti, whose steadfast leadership ushered the school through a period of significant change during unprecedented circumstances. 

Chloe joins us from a 20+ year career at Saint Ann’s, where she went from kindergarten teacher to instrumental senior administrator. For the past six years she has served as Head of Upper School, where she architected an inclusive vision for the division that brings together students, faculty, and families in an exceptional academic program and supportive community. Her colleagues there describe her in glowing terms: a confident, capable, collaborative leader with best-in-class communication skills and an unfazed attitude in the face of the challenges and (occasional) chaos of community life, someone who engenders deep respect, listens to all perspectives, and keeps students’ well-being at the heart of everything. 

The Board is grateful for the herculean efforts of the Search Committee led by Poppy Simpson, Octavia Figueroa, and Claire Stapleton. Division heads (Christie Gallagher, Ian Wharton, and Mark Buswinka), parent reps (Nzingah Diallo, Alexa Fairchild, and Jason Metzner), and additional members of the Board (Hilary Robinson, Kristina Hoge, Vanessa Jean Charles) who brought a diverse and invaluable set of perspectives to the committee. We’re also grateful to Tracy Bennett and Mary Seppala, our consultants at Educators Collaborative, who nimbly guided us through the process. 

The strength, power, heart, and intelligence of this community was on full display last week during the finalist visits. We want to acknowledge faculty, staff, and parents for showing up (three days in a row!), asking great questions, and sharing thoughtful, incisive feedback about our three wonderful candidates. We were moved and guided by this engagement, and feel tremendous optimism and excitement about the Co-op School’s next chapter. 

We will welcome Chloe officially as our Head of School in July. Stay tuned for opportunities to get to know Chloe over the coming months. 

Sara Siddappa
President, Board of Trustees


Dear Co-op School Community, 

I am honored and thrilled that I have been given the opportunity to lead this incredible school through its next chapter. I had already begun to fall in love with Co-op in the weeks before I had the chance to come to campus, but the thoughtful and probing questions from parents and faculty/staff, the fascinating projects and art on the walls, and my joyful lunch with middle school students all served to solidify my growing feeling that I had a found a new place to call home. 

I embark on this new role knowing two things with certainty: Co-op is an exceptional school offering exceptional opportunities to its students, and it is also a self-reflective institution ready to face its challenges. I am eager to lean into and amplify all that the school already does so well while tackling head-on the important tasks of fostering trust and collaboration, growing enrollment, and ensuring that the kids continue to explore that which they care about all day long. 

I love working with children, I love solving problems, and I love working with parents and teachers who are passionate about educating students in innovative ways. To be a Head of School is to embrace partnerships with the hundreds of people invested in an institution. The excitement that I have about partnering with all of you is immeasurable, and I very much look forward to connecting with all of you in the months and years to come. 

Ecstatically yours,


Previous Updates:

On October 14, 2022, our current head of school, Deanna Bocchetti, announced that she will be leaving at the end of the school year to pursue opportunities closer to her family. The President of the Board of Trustees, Sara Siddappa, followed Deanna’s announcement with a public letter thanking Deanna for all that she has accomplished, and for her continued commitment to leading The Co-Op School through the current academic year. 

This page will be continuously updated as we embark on the important process of finding an exceptional leader for our school.



Meet our Head of School Search Committee below and click here for details:

  • Octavia Figueroa, Search Committee Co-Chair – Board Treasurer, lower school parent
  • Poppy Simpson, Search Committee Co-Chair – Trustee and preschool parent
  • Claire Stapleton Search Committee Co-Chair – Trustee, preschool and lower school parent
  • Mark Buswinka, School Leadership – Lower School Division Head
  • Nzingah Diallo, Parent – Middle and lower school parent
  • Vanessa Jean Charles-Blackwell, Trustee – Preschooler and lower school parent
  • Alexa Fairchild, Parent – Preschool parent
  • Kristina Hoge, Board Secretary – Trustee since 2017 and preschool and lower school parent
  • Christie Gallagher, School Leadership – Preschool Division Head
  • Steve Jean-Baptiste, Trustee – Lower school parent
  • Jason Metzner, Parent – Preschool parent
  • Hilary Cramer Robinson, Board Vice-President (non-voting) – Trustee since 2020 and lower school parent
  • Sara Siddappa, Board President (non-voting) – Trustee since 2020, lower school parent
  • Ian Wharton, School Leadership – Middle School Division Head