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Leadership Team

Tami Gavaletz
Interim Head of School

Taking the reins in the Summer of 2021 until the search for a permanent Head of School is complete, Tami Gavaletz is committed to maintaining the highest standards of teaching and learning; developing student leadership, character, and community; and ensuring that Principia School students benefit from a relevant, hands-on, education that equips them to be effective global citizens. Tami holds a BA from Principia College and an MA from Webster University. 

Tami Gavaletz

Christen Alford
Principal—Upper School

Christen Alford is the Upper School Principal and is primarily responsible for the academic programming for grades 9-12. She has 33 years of experience in education and holds degrees from Principia College (BA, Secondary Education, and English), and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Maryville University. She is a credentialed teacher and administrator. Additionally, she holds a certificate in College Counseling from UCLA. Christen works closely with our Dean of Students and our Athletics Director to provide a premier Upper School experience academically, spiritually, socially, and athletically.

Samantha Dry
Principal—Middle School

Responsible for the day-to-day academic program, Samantha Dry works to ensure that an integrated, experiential approach and global awareness infuse teaching and learning across the disciplines in Middle School. Samantha holds a BA from the University of South Africa and an MA from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia.

Heather Tibbetts
Principal—Lower School

During more than a decade of teaching in elementary schools and providing individual and small-group support to students, Heather Tibbetts brings skills in differentiated instruction and cross-curricular, experiential education to her oversight of teaching and learning in the Lower School. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MS from Missouri Baptist University. 

Heather Tibbets

Dorothy Halverson
Principal—Early Childhood

Dorothy Halverson has a deep love of young children and an inspired commitment to their formative learning experiences. With skills and empathy gained over more than 30 years of teaching at the elementary and kindergarten levels, she supports new parents and their infants and toddlers in our on-campus and online Acorn Programs and in our Early Learning Center. Dorothy holds a BA from Principia College and an MA in Educational Leadership from Maryville University.