Search Team

Our Search Team members have broad experience as heads of school, senior administrators, trustees, educators, and parents of children in independent schools. Each brings a wealth of educational experience, insight, and intuition towards creating the synergy between great candidates and great independent and private schools.

Tamara Schiff, Leadership Search Consultant 

Dr. Tamara Schiff is a leadership search consultant for CalWest Educators Placement. She is also currently owner of Tamara Schiff Educational Consulting where she works on various education, research and policy issues for clients. Before launching her own business in 2011, Tamara was senior vice president at the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) where she was part of a team that developed the nationally recognized teacher quality reform TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement. At NIET, Tamara led all research efforts, was responsible for the annual National TAP Conference, and authored and edited numerous monographs and articles on educational issues. She served on the board of trustees for the Milken Community High School for over 10 years, as well as served on the board of directors for HighTech Los Angeles. Dr. Schiff received her Ph.D. in education from UCLA. 


Susan Nelson, Leadership Search Consultant

Susan is Head Emerita of The Webb Schools in Claremont, California, where she served as Head for 23 years. Originally from New York City, she began her teaching and administrative leadership career at Staten Island Academy.  Over the years, Susan held a variety of positions including English teacher, Dean of Students, Upper School Head, Director of College Guidance, and Assistant Head. She led three successful capital campaigns and is a frequent presenter on school leadership, major gifts fundraising, board/head relations, and strategic planning.  Her two sons were independent school "lifers," and her husband was the Athletic Director at Foothill Country Day School.  Susan is the Chair of the Board of TABS, The Association of Boarding Schools, and also serves on the Claremont University Consortium board.