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Spring 2012 Issue

Retirement Beckons - The Legacy of Dr. Val T. Iwashita ’67
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Spring 2012 - Feature | Next Head of School

‘Iolani’s Next Head of School: Dr. Timothy R. Cottrell

Cottrell
Dr. Timothy R. Cottrell has been appointed as the next Head of School for ‘Iolani School effective July 1.
The Board of Governors of ‘Iolani School has appointed Dr. Timothy Cottrell as its Head of School effective July 1, 2012.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Cottrell to the ‘Iolani family,” said Jenai S. Wall, chair of the ‘Iolani School Board of Governors, as she made the announcement to faculty and staff on February 21. “An inspiring and visionary leader with an entrepreneurial spirit, Tim believes that schools define themselves not only by academic excellence, but also by the works of good they foster in the world. He is absolutely the right individual to lead ‘Iolani into the future.”

Dr. Cottrell is currently in his sixth year as Head of School at The Harley School, an independent, co-educational, college-preparatory school serving approximately 520 students in nursery through 12th grade in Rochester, New York.

Dr. Timothy R. Cottrell

  • Education:
    Syracuse University, B.S. in Chemical Engineering; Princeton University, M.A. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering
  • Education:
    Current Head of The Harley School in Rochester, New York
  • Leadership:
    Current Head of The Harley School in Rochester, New York (View an Edward E. Ford Foundation video by clicking here.)
  • Family:
    Wife Lisa, sons Connor (age 10) and Sean (age 8), dogs Cody and Suzy
  • Favorite hobby:
    Fishing
“The honor to lead ‘Iolani, one of the top schools in the world, and become part of the remarkable faculty, staff, parent, and alumni communities, is the greatest opportunity of my career,” said Cottrell.  “The warmth, sincerity, and humility that my family and I have come to appreciate as central to the ‘Iolani community and Hawaiian culture offers a perspective of great benefit to the evolving tenor of educational goals of the nation and the world.”
   
The appointment of Dr. Cottrell marked the culmination of a thorough, five-month search that began in late August 2011, following the announcement by Dr. Val T. Iwashita ’67 of his retirement in June 2012.

‘Iolani hired Wickenden Associates, a highly respected national educational search firm, to launch a global search for Dr. Iwashita’s successor. Applications were received from across the country and Europe.
   
A search committee, made up of members of the Board of Governors, first asked students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and other members of the ‘Iolani community to identify the qualities they were looking for in the school’s next leader. Applications were reviewed with this criterion in mind, and in-person interviews were conducted with eight semi-finalists from Hawai‘i and across the country. Three final candidates and their spouses were then invited to spend two full days visiting the campus meeting with representatives of ‘Iolani’s different constituencies. All who met with the candidates were invited to provide feedback via surveys. Comprehensive reference checks were also conducted.
   
On February 21 the ‘Iolani School Board of Governors unanimously approved the Search Committee's recommendation that Dr. Cottrell be appointed as Head of School. 
       
Dr. Cottrell grew up in Geneseo, New York, and received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Syracuse University. He completed his graduate work at Princeton University where he earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering.

“We live in extraordinarily exciting times and ‘Iolani is a school uniquely positioned with its commitment to moral and character development, academic excellence and, in The Sullivan Center for Applied Studies, leadership in education for the 21st Century,”
Under Dr. Cottrell’s leadership, The Harley School set record enrollment levels, won a prestigious E.E. Ford Foundation Educational Leadership Grant to establish a Center for Mindfulness and Empathy Education, formed partnerships focused on sustainability education with the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology, created the Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association—now recognized as the model for public-private partnerships to close the achievement gap, and was awarded an Environmental Leadership Award in Resource Reduction, the Chamber of Commerce Green Business Award and the Best Practices in the State of New York Award in the area of healthy choices and nutritional education. He has also helped the school launch a project to construct a “living building” with a social curriculum designed to educate students in creating a sustainable future.

Prior to Harley, Dr. Cottrell was a senior administrator at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and oversaw the Information Technology Services and Communications departments. He also taught science and served as an academic advisor, coach, and house parent. 

In 1994, Dr. Cottrell founded his own company, Princeton Teaching Associates Software, an interactive multimedia software company. His success as an entrepreneur led to a stay in Silicon Valley, but his love for teaching also kept him at The Lawrenceville School as a part-time teacher.

Dr. Cottrell will assume leadership during a time of great excitement for ‘Iolani. The school will break ground on its current campus for a new facility, The Sullivan Center, this summer and will celebrate its 150th Anniversary in 2013.
     
“We live in extraordinarily exciting times and ‘Iolani is a school uniquely positioned with its commitment to moral and character development, academic excellence and, in The Sullivan Center for Applied Studies, leadership in education for the 21st Century,” said Cottrell.

Wall added, “We also look forward to welcoming Dr. Cottrell’s wife Lisa and their two sons, Connor, 10, and Sean, 8, to ‘Iolani School and know their presence will enrich our community.”