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Meet Miguel

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Dear Sussex School Community,

I am both honored and thrilled to join the community as the new Head of School at Sussex School. As I embark on this journey with the community, I am filled with excitement and anticipation for what is ahead.


First and foremost, I want to express my sincere gratitude for the warm welcome I have received thus far. From the moment I stepped onto campus, I was struck by the palpable sense of community and commitment to engaging learning that permeates Sussex School. It is evident that this is a place where students, educators, and families come together to foster a love of learning and support one another.


As we enter this new chapter together, I am eager to collaborate with each and every member of our community to build upon the strong foundation that Sussex School has established. Together, we will continue to cultivate an environment where every student is a confident, enthusiastic learner and caring participant in Missoula and beyond.

My vision for Sussex School is one of innovation, inclusivity, and continued commitment to progressive education. I am dedicated to ensuring that our curriculum remains dynamic and responsive to the ever-changing needs of our students, supporting them with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in an increasingly complex world. Additionally, I am committed to fostering a school culture that celebrates diversity, embraces equity, and promotes kindness and empathy.

I am deeply passionate about education and believe wholeheartedly in the transformative power of high-quality relationships and learning. I am thrilled to be on this journey of exploration, growth, and discovery together.


I am genuinely excited to get to know each and every one of you and to partner with you in the pursuit of our shared mission. I look forward to connecting over the next several months and being on campus fully in July. Until then, do not hesitate to reach out. I welcome your ideas, feedback, and collaboration as we work together to make Sussex School the best it can be.


Thank you for entrusting me with the privilege of serving as your Head of School. I am truly honored to be a part of the Sussex School community, and I look forward to the incredible journey that lies ahead.


With warmest regards,



Community Announcement

Miguel Gonzalez | Next Head of Sussex School

the classrooms and served in leadership positions within the Colorado public school system, at international schools, Montessori schools, and most recently as a founder and Executive Director of Embark Education/Great Work Inc., an innovative, progressive, micro middle school in Denver, Colorado.

Miguel first conceptualized Embark Education six years ago and has since materialized and grown the fully-sustainable,

progressive, micro middle school, garnering national recognition. The Sussex Board was impressed with Miguel’s innovation,

creativity, tenacity, entrepreneurialism, and life-long commitment to youth and to progressive education. Miguel has used his

reputation to bring educators and educational leaders from across the country to Embark twice a year to learn from his team,

inspiring even the most traditional educators in student-led learning, relationship-centered educational environments, and

collaborative leadership. Within his school, Miguel has also spearheaded a successful adult-education program, creating a

true sense of community and commitment to life-long learning. 


Miguel demonstrates strong commitment to citizenship, youth, and education as a Board member/council to numerous

non-profit organizations dedicated to progressive education and educational leadership including Lyra Colorado, Luminary

Learning, and The Canopy Project. He has served a fellowship in School Design and Leadership to MoonShot EdVentures,

and has recently been accepted into the prestigious national educational fellowship, Pahara.  


Miguel excels at building strong teams, creating a work culture of trust and collaboration, and listens to students, parents,

and staff in a way that lets people know they are truly heard and valued. He has been described as “visionary, strategic,

smart, organized, measured, creative, innovative, grounded” and as someone who “deeply cares about people.” Miguel

leads with passion, driven by the mission and values of the school/organization he serves. This brings us great comfort and

excitement, knowing that he will be an exceptional fit for our close-knit Sussex community and will be fully committed to

the established mission and values of Sussex School as we move forward together.


Miguel will relocate to Missoula with his lovely and talented partner, Meg. They are outdoor enthusiasts, with passion for skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking, and simply being outside. They are excited for all that Montana has to offer and will be a natural fit within our community!  


While transitions such as this can bring about feelings of uncertainty, they are also full of excitement and hope for our future. The Board is working in close partnership with Joellen and Miguel, as well as a team of Sussex staff leadership, to ensure a smooth transition of leadership for our staff, students, and families. The Board of Directors will host a Sussex Community gathering on campus Thursday, May 9 at 5:30pm. This will be an in-person opportunity to meet and welcome Miguel to Sussex School and to celebrate the outstanding contributions of Joellen Shannon, our outgoing Head of School.  We hope you will join us in celebration of these two extraordinary individuals.  


Please join the Board of Directors in warmly welcoming our newest member of the Sussex community, Miguel Gonzalez. We are so thrilled that he has accepted the Head of School position at Sussex School and deeply honored to be the next place that Miguel and Meg will call home.  



Most Warmly,

Ange Anderson


Sussex Board 

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The Board of Directors is thrilled to announce Miguel Gonzalez as Sussex School’s next Head of School, beginning on July 1, 2024. The Board enthusiastically approved the Hiring Committee’s recommendation to appoint Miguel, following a ten-month search and hiring process that included feedback and participation from the full staff and faculty, Board, and parent and student volunteers in respective focus groups.  


The Board carefully considered feedback from our stakeholders, while also reflecting on Sussex School’s history, mission, and priorities for our future. Miguel’s unique background and experiences, as well as his deeply embedded relationship-based values, position him perfectly to honor and uphold our school’s established mission, vision, values, culture, and traditions, while also guiding us forward in our commitment to serve as trusted leaders in progressive education; to nurturing relationships and value our community; and to sustainably develop our campus and community.  


Miguel comes to Sussex with a strong history of leadership, collaboration, creativity, business acumen, progressive education, and innovation. Hailing from Colorado, he earned his B.A. in English with an emphasis in Secondary Education from the University of Northern Colorado and his M.Ed in Educational Leadership from Pennsylvania State University. Beginning his career in education as a seventh-grade Language Arts teacher, Miguel has taught in

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