Tara Rolle

Tara Rolle, Ed.D. to Become
Executive Director of CAPSO

A special update from CAPSO President Berit von Pohle


February 1, 2024

Dear CAPSO colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I announce that the CAPSO Board of Directors has voted to appoint Dr. Tara Rolle (shown above) as our next Executive Director, effective June 1, 2024. Her term of office will overlap with that of Ron Reynolds, our current Executive Director, as they work together to ensure a smooth transition.

The Board was made aware that Ron intended to retire at the end of June, 2024. A search committee was established and included the following CAPSO Board members:

·    Chair: Deborah Dowling, California Association of Independent Schools (CAPSO Vice-President)

·    Cecil Swetland, Association of Christian Schools International (CAPSO Treasurer)

·    Ryan Newman, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles

·    Katie Perata, Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento

·    Dick Schnetzer, California Association of Private Special Education Schools

The search committee engaged the services of Spelman Johnson, an executive search firm, and worked with search consultant Michel Frendian.

There were over 40 applicants for the position and the search committee was diligent in comparing the skills of each applicant to the expressed needs and desires of the CAPSO board. After several rounds of interviews, the entire CAPSO board interviewed two finalist candidates.

Deb Dowling shared this perspective: “Tara rose to the top of an exceptionally strong pool of candidates through her outstanding knowledge of private religious and independent schooling, her enthusiasm for learning, and her insights into the needs of our community. Tara’s deep expertise is infused with genuine joy.” It became evident to the CAPSO board that Tara has the skills, drive, expertise, and vision to maintain the outstanding spirit of collaboration within our diverse community, and to represent our shared interests in Sacramento.

Tara knows schools from the inside: she has been a teacher, and a department head, an admissions director, a school principal, and a consultant to schools. She has worked in both public and private schools. She has trained teachers at the university level and in the field, sharing her expertise in social-emotional development, academic pedagogy, and educational technology.

Tara also knows the big picture of school policy: she is currently the Executive Director of the St. Clare Institute for Leading and Learning, and she is the Associate Superintendent for Governance in the Department of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Previously, Tara was an Associate Superintendent of Schools in San Jose, where she was also the Executive Director of the Drexel School System. She has extensive experience in strategic planning, crisis management, diversity work, systems development, change management, advocacy, and title compliance.

Tara’s doctorate is in the field of educational policy and administration. She has published extensively on topics ranging from classroom practices to ESSA-related funding, and she is on the path toward registration as a lobbyist. Tara truly loves policy development: she looks forward to tracking private schools’ interests as bills are proposed, and she is excited to connect with legislators on behalf of our community.

Tara will be a strong voice for private school organizations in California. We will miss Ron greatly (and will more formally thank him in future communications.) He has built the CAPSO that we know and love, and he leaves a powerful legacy. In her acceptance of the position, Tara shared, “I feel honored and privileged to have the opportunity to advance the legacy of CAPSO as the voice of private education in California. I look forward to building collaborative partnerships and advocating on behalf of the member organizations. My sincere gratitude to Ron Reynolds and the Board of Directors for entrusting me with this critical office.”

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Dr. Tara Rolle, CAPSO’s next Executive Director.

On behalf of the CAPSO Board of Directors,

Berit von Pohle, Ed.D.
California Association of Private School Organizations