Head of School Transition



Urban Head of School Dan Miller has announced that he will step down in June of 2025 after a very successful six-year tenure. You can find both Dan's and our Board Chair's announcements here. The Board has completed the search process for his successor, and you can read our Board Chair and Head of School Elect's announcement below.



Anuncio importante de HOS urbano
Presidente, Patronato Urbano

Dear Urban Community,

I am thrilled to announce that Dr. Quinton P. Walker will become the next Head of the Urban School of San Francisco effective July 1, 2025.

Quinton was selected from a pool of diverse and talented candidates after a thorough search process that engaged students, parents/guardians, alumni, faculty, staff and trustees. Quinton impressed our community with his excellent communication, humble warmth, natural curiosity and proven history of consensus-building and collaborative decision-making. All constituencies noted Quinton had a passion for Urban’s mission and values, as well as deep experience igniting a passion for learning. With a bold and audacious orientation towards life, Quinton emerged as the “Beyond Your Imagination” candidate. 

The Search Committee and the Board of Trustees unanimously agree that Quinton has the skills, experience, temperament and passion to lead Urban, and I am delighted to report that he enthusiastically accepted the position.

Quinton is currently the Assistant Head of School and Head of Upper School at the University School of Nashville (USN). He oversees academic direction and strategy in the Upper School, leads various K-12 projects, serves as a board liaison, and teaches sociology and social conscience courses. His contributions include academic alignment efforts, creating a culture of faculty innovation, and community wellness initiatives. Quinton is also an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University, where he helped found the Master’s of Education in Independent School Leadership program and enjoys training a new generation of teachers. 

Quinton previously held leadership positions at Paideia School and Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, where his administrative roles and responsibilities included faculty recruitment and development, curriculum development, admissions outreach, equity, and service learning. His work as a management consultant at Hay Group (now Korn Ferry International) equipped him with a deep understanding of education practices and organizational management.

Quinton is also an active and inspirational changemaker. He serves as the Board Chair for Inclusion Tennessee, an organization committed to connecting people, opportunities, and resources for the LGBTQ+ community in Tennessee. He sits on the Authentic Connections Advisory Board and cochaired the NAIS People of Color Conference in 2018. In addition, he helps shape educational initiatives on the SAIS Conference Steering Group and the INDEX Academic Conference Planning Committee. He also engages in community efforts through the Duke Nashville Service Committee and the Nashville Community Visioning Project Young Adult Task Force, fostering positive social change.

Quinton earned his A.B. in Political Science from Duke University, where he was honored as a Reginaldo Howard Scholar; his M.A. in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Michigan, where he was a Rackham Fellow; and his Ed.D. in Education Leadership at Vanderbilt University, where he distinguished himself as a Peabody Scholar. 

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I thank you for your engagement in the search process. At every point, your commitment to Urban’s mission and values has been abundantly clear. I am also deeply grateful to the Search Committee, intrepidly led by Ruth Chang Hess and Elena Yang, for a process that prioritized Urban’s mission and values, raised community voices, and made candidates feel welcome. We are also grateful to the many talented candidates who explored Urban's future with us. 

We look forward to a fantastic 2024-25 school year, at the end of which we will say a fond farewell to Dan Miller and celebrate all he has accomplished during his tenure. During that time, Quinton will remain in his USN leadership role. The Board of Trustees will work closely with Dan and Quinton to ensure a smooth transition.

Very truly yours,

Shannon White Cogen (Eliza ’18 and Tess ’21)
Chair, Urban Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees
Yamilée Bermingham
Ruth Chang Hess, Co-Chair of the Search Committee 
Paolo Diaz
Jim Hansen
Sean Jeffries
Nicolas King
Irene Lee
Willie Moses (’02)
David Noyola, Member of the Search Committee
Misha Olivas (’94)
Chris Ridley (’91), Member of the Search Committee
Laura Sanchez
Carl Shannon, Member of the Search Committee
Michael Smith
Bettina Steffen
Karen Tsay
Joe To
Ana Validzic
Chris Wilkens
Elena Yang, Co-Chair of the Search Committee
Kevin Yeaman

Faculty Representatives to the Search Committee
Jason Feldman
Mary Murphy
Charisse Wu

To the Urban Community,

I can’t tell you how overjoyed I am to join the Urban School of San Francisco community as its next Head of School. As a lifelong educator, being tapped to lead such a distinguished institution is quite the honor. Talk about Beyond Your Imagination!

From talking with people as I traveled between the Page Campus and Salkind Center to visiting Scott’s Jazz Band ensemble or Cathleen’s English course, my time on campus was marked by a distinctive dynamism. I returned to Nashville with a sense that the school’s mission lives in the students, faculty, staff, and families who call Urban home. I left wishing I could have benefitted from an Urban education myself. It’s a place where I would have belonged in the fullness of my humanity — a young Black, multiracial, nerdy, bookish, jubilant, gay kiddo hopeful that education would be the thing that changed my life. That’s the work we do, Urban. I’m here for it.

There’s a confident vibrancy all around campus. Passion, self-motivation, enthusiasm, trust, academic excellence, and joy — cardinal values for Urban — are powerful and instructive, both for the Urban of the past, Urban at present, and for the Urban we’ll continue to build and imagine for the future. To be sure, “Urban” and “San Francisco” are incredibly attractive attributes of the school, particularly to a guy who grew up with rural roots in the South and Midwest. But the of in “Urban School of San Francisco” stands out in relief, worthy of mention all on its own. 

To be of something bigger is among the noblest aims for a progressive institution. Requiring conviction, steady focus, and determination, Urban’s gaze upward and outward to the world, grappling with all of its complexity, is gumption realized. During my visit, each conversation confirmed that Urban is quintessentially a school that treats this sentiment with sincerity. Students have voice and agency, becoming full members of the community. Faculty, leading active and inspired learning, sustain the Urban School community. Classes are connected to the broader San Francisco and Bay Area communities. Even the school itself is helping stitch together the larger societal fabric, educating in ways such that students and faculty recognize and wrestle with notions of privilege, power, and equity in our contemporary world with an eye toward activation, perhaps even evolution.  

When you know, you know, and today, I know. I know that I’ll soon join a community that deeply cares about intentionality, joy, and belonging in education. A community that cares about being connected to the world. A community that embodies a healthy restlessness in service of creating the absolute best conditions for its people to learn, grow, and lead. I have to imagine that Urban’s founding families who boldly set out to create a community of learning for their young people are proud. I’ll do my absolute best to extend that pride in my time at Urban. The world needs Urban and its graduates because we know there will always be a better way.

I look forward to joining Urban in July 2025. Though I’m moving westward solo, I do so with the strength and love and support of my parents, my brothers, my family and my chosen family who are eager to see what’s captivated me about the place from the very beginning. Until then, you’re in terrific hands with Dan and his leadership team. There’s so much to celebrate. Dan’s thoughtful and skilled leadership alongside the Board’s careful transition planning will illuminate Urban’s 2024-2025 school year brilliantly. 

Start thinking about the Urban stories you’ll share with me once I land next summer. Know that I’ll be thinking about each of you and all of you. I can’t wait.

With gratitude and excitement from Nashville,

Dr. Quinton P. Walker



Questions related to the Head of School Search? 
Contact the Search Committee at SearchCommittee@urbanschool.org

Search Committee

  • Ruth Chang Hess, Trustee, Search Committee Co-Chair (Sam ’17-’18, Helena ’22)
  • Elena Yang, Trustee, Search Committee Co-Chair (Bryce ’22, Alex ’24) 
  • Shannon White Cogen, Board Chair (Eliza ’18, Tess ’21)
  • Jason Feldman, Dean of Equity + Inclusion
  • Mary Murphy, Board Member, Faculty
  • David Noyola '00, Trustee
  • Chris Ridley '91, Trustee (Elizabeth ’21, Andrew ’23)
  • Carl Shannon, Trustee (Emmie ’23, Katie ’27)
  • Charisse Wu, Grade-Level Dean, Faculty