Woodside Priory names new head of school


Patrick Ruff has been named the new head of school of the Woodside Priory, taking over from Tim Molak, who is retiring after 30 years, according to a press release from the school.

Ruff will take on his new post at the Portola Valley school on July 1, 2020, a day after Molak leaves the position. Woodside Priory is a private, Catholic Benedictine co-ed day and boarding school that serves grades 6-12.

"The core to our search was finding a leader who understands and embraces the unique culture and values of the Priory," said Mike Calbert, chair of the school's board. "We strongly believe Patrick has demonstrated this in his past roles, experiences, and during the search process. Patrick is a dynamic leader with a big heart for the whole student. His approach in his previous schools has been consistent with 'the Priory way.'"

Ruff has more than 25 years of experience in education, including roles as a teacher, coach, moderator, campus minister, assistant principal and principal, according to the press release. Ruff comes from St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, where he served as principal for 11 years. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Chinese from Georgetown University, a master's degree in education from Loyola Marymount University and a master's degree in educational administration from Boston College, according to St. Ignatius' website.

"I am deeply humbled to serve Woodside Priory and to build upon all that Tim Molak and his team have accomplished," Ruff said. "It is the concept of educating the whole person forming minds and hearts that has driven my vocation in Catholic education the past 25 years and it will be an honor to serve this community so strongly rooted in the Benedictine values and tradition. Over the past decade, my respect for the Priory family has grown and I look forward to working with a dedicated faculty and staff, talented students, supportive families, and generous benefactors."

Molak announced his retirement last October. The board then formed a search committee composed of members of the board and Priory community, according to the school's website. That committee worked with Carney Sandoe and Associates, a global search firm, to find Molak's replacement.

Molak has been in his current role for more than 20 years, according to a press release from he school. Prior to that, he served as the Priory's dean of students.


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