Mercy is a Sisterhood

Head of School Search

Announcing Our Next Head of School

A Note from Chair of Board of Directors
November 16, 2018

Dear Mercy Community,

It is with great pleasure that we announce Natalie Cirigliano Brosnan ‘02 has accepted our offer to be the next Head of School for Mercy High School Burlingame, starting on July 1, 2019.

Natalie is effectively coming home. She is an alumna and our former Assistant Principal for Student Life. Natalie hails from Burlingame, where she graduated from St. Catherine of Siena before attending Mercy and becoming a student athlete and valedictorian of her class. 

Mercy's next Head of School, Natalie Ciriglioni Brosnan

Natalie graduated from UCLA with a degree in Psychobiology and recently earned her Ed.D in Catholic Educational Leadership with a Minor in Digital Technologies. She also holds a Master of Arts in Catholic Education Leadership - both from University of San Francisco.  

After leaving her role in Mercy administration in 2015, she became the Principal of Holy Name School in San Francisco, where she was the academic and spiritual leader working with the pastor in partnership to increase and encourage the Catholicity within the school and parish community.

While at Holy Name, she served as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees for Mercy San Francisco and this past summer served as Co-Interim Head of School. She is now Chair of the Board.

Natalie firmly believes in Mercy’s mission and embedding the Critical Concerns into our curriculum and how we govern to ensure our culture and environment pays tribute to Catherine McAuley’s vision. Natalie’s background, skills and experience make her uniquely qualified to assume the role of Head of School and we are pleased that she will lead our exceptionally talented faculty and staff as we embark on such an exciting future. 

We would also like to thank the Search Committee for their tireless efforts to find our next Head of School.  We were lucky to bring together such a strong group of individuals representing all of our important constituents. They were committed to ensuring our next Head of School would embody the spirit and vision of Catherine McAuley.

We are in the process of developing a transition plan, focusing on a smooth transfer of duties next year. We thank those of you who participated in the survey seeking input for the important qualifications for the next Head of School. The feedback we received will be instrumental in supporting this transition and the continued progress of the school. 

As we look to the future, we would like to thank Karen Hanrahan for her leadership and we look forward to welcoming Natalie Cirigliano Brosnan home.

Bob Grassilli, Chair of the Board of Directors


Background Information

In June 2018, Head of School Karen Hanrahan announced her intention to step down from her role at the end of the school year in 2019. The Board of Directors has embarked on a search for a new Head of School who will continue the legacy set forth by the Sisters of Mercy of providing a rigorous education driven by faith, values, and care for the whole student. 

The Board of Directors has appointed a search committee, led by Penny Stack Alexander '78, and retained EW Partners to consult on the recruitment process. 

Under Karen’s leadership and with a dedicated faculty and staff, our school community has come together to make Mercy a strong and vibrant environment, focusing on the potential for each young woman to grow and develop. We thank Karen for her tireless devotion to Mercy High School and our cherished students as they grow into women of faith and compassion, equipped to make a difference in our world. In the coming year, we will celebrate her time here and her many accomplishments.

Mercy At A Glance

Mercy At A Glance Infographic