Jay Rainey

Board Appoints Next Head of School

Jay Rainey will succeed Lisa Lyle as MICDS’ next Head of School, effective July 1, 2019.

The MICDS Board of Trustees has appointed Jay Rainey as MICDS’ next Head of School after a thorough, eight-month search. The search included candidates from top domestic and international schools and in-person interviews with a strong pool of candidates with gender, ethnic, racial and geographic diversity and exceptional professional experiences and track records.

Michelle Leith Cohen ’88, Chair of the MICDS Board of Trustees, said, “Jay’s strong leadership qualities, excellent interpersonal skills, commitment to academic excellence and extraordinary successes as an independent school educator and administrator ideally position him to lead our great school.”

Rainey comes to MICDS from Randolph School, a K-12 independent school with 950 students, where he has served as Head of School since 2014. Prior to Randolph School, Rainey spent 12 years at Norfolk Academy, where he served as a math and English teacher, coach and college counselor before being promoted to Director of Studies and ultimately, Assistant Head for Academic Affairs.

“Jay has a warm, approachable presence and collaborative style that invites and respects all points of view. He values diversity and cares deeply about building and nurturing a welcoming, inclusive community where every member feels a sense of value and belonging,” Cohen said.

“I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to lead a school established by the vision of William Greenleaf Eliot in 1859, advanced by the vision of Lisa Lyle over the last 12 years and sustained by the vision of the faculty, administrators and trustees today,” Rainey said.  “I am committed to furthering educational opportunities for individual students in consonance with the MICDS Mission and current Strategic Plan, and I am equally committed to prioritizing a collective spirit of compassion, selflessness and love of School during my tenure as Head. My family and I are grateful and excited to join such a proud and thriving School community.”

Rainey FamilyRainey also has eight years of entrepreneurial and business experience. He earned a master’s degree from the College of William & Mary and an undergraduate degree from Princeton University. He is an avid reader and also enjoys playing piano, riding his bike and taking walks with his wife, Ruth. Together, they have two children and an English bulldog.


Current MICDS Head of School Lisa Lyle announced in January 2018 that she will leave her position at the end of the 2018-2019 school year when her third and current contract expires. She will continue to serve as Head of School through June 2019.

More information can be found here.