The Long Ridge School

Interim Head of School Announced

By Christine Costello

November 9, 2017

Dear Members of The Long Ridge School Community,

The Board of Trustees is delighted to announce that John Ora will be joining The Long Ridge School on July 1, 2018 as our Interim Head of School for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years.  This unanimous recommendation from the Search Committee and unanimous appointment by the Board is the result of a comprehensive and thorough search in which John distinguished himself from a group of highly qualified and impressive candidates.

Throughout this process John stood out as a talented educator and dedicated administrator with proven success in Preserving core values and Preparing a school community to answer challenging headwinds.  John is also responsible for Propelling a preK-grade 8 school, very similar to Long Ridge, on the path to its greatest and most authentic potential.

John will bring many skills and talents to bear during his tenure as Interim Head of School including an innovator’s mindset that is steeped in sound pedagogy and practical application.  This approach is perfectly aligned with Long Ridge’s progressive educational philosophy and the innate curiosities of young children.

Our community responded very positively to John’s visit, expressing the excitement that was sparked by his ideas and experiences coupled with his warm and welcoming disposition.

We are thrilled to have found an individual who will safeguard our core values, challenge us to advance in service to our purpose, and guide our community through this time of transition.

A Note From John Ora

I am honored and pleased to be joining The Long Ridge School community as Interim Head of School.  As a school that is both small and progressive by design, LRS fits very well with my professional experience and I am excited about helping it move forward strongly over the next two years.

Having grown up as the child of two college professors, I am a teacher at heart and genuinely enjoy life at school.  The chance to work with talented students in an excellent school carries with it the responsibility for helping them develop the strength of mind and heart they need as they grow and make a difference in the world. 

After almost thirty years teaching and leading for a wide range of independent schools, including nine as the head of Woodland School, I am currently taking a long anticipated break traveling extensively and being with family.  Having successfully worked with an interim head early in my administrative career, exploring that pathway has always been part of my plans.  As we get acquainted, you will find that outside of school, I am an avid cook, traveler, and baseball fan.  I worked my way through college and have a long ago former life as a comedy and music promoter in Seattle. 

The Board of Trustees would like to sincerely thank all members of The Long Ridge School community for your commitment to this search process and your invaluable and thoughtful feedback.  We are particularly grateful to my fellow Search Committee members, Guy Bailey, John Black, Christine Costello, Rebecca Fass, David Friedman, Shanti Hageman, Aditi Shrikam, and Rachel Wagle who put in long hours over many months to bring this search to a successful conclusion.

John’s extensive background in and commitment to education and his proven experience helping a school Preserve, Prepare, and Propel is what the Board of Trustees felt was essential in our Interim Head of School, and we are confident that Long Ridge will continue to thrive under his leadership.  We look forward to welcoming John on July 1, 2018.


Becki Fleischer


Board of Trustees



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