First published in the Sept. 8 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
Andrea L. Kassar was recently installed as the 12th head of Westridge School at a convocation ceremony held on campus.
Kassar officially joined Westridge in July 2022, succeeding Elizabeth McGregor, the former head of school, who retired in June.
Kassar has more than 20 years of experience as an administrator and faculty member at girls’ schools in New York. She was most recently the head of Upper School at the Nightingale-Bamford School in Manhattan, where she led the division through significant enrollment growth and the transition to an Advanced Courses program and worked to implement new and expanded student programs in the areas of diversity and equity, and health and wellness.
“As we embark on a new school year, I’m excited to see our community carry forward the gift of connection and the empathy and belonging that it can create. It’s this environment that empowers our students to bring their whole selves to confront this ever‐changing world,” said Westridge Board of
Trustees Chair Valerie Rubio Lemmon, who is also a Class of 1992 alumna and current Westridge parent. “I can’t think of anyone better to guide our community during this time than Andrea. It’s clear that Andrea values connection too, as she has been connecting with our community for the past year. The pace of that has only accelerated in her time on campus so far.”
Kassar looks forward to her new role.
“I am honored, humbled, and very excited to be Westridge’s head of school,” Kassar said. “I believe deeply in everything that Westridge is: a school that is innovative and forward-looking, a school that empowers girls to question the status quo and to shape and change their learning community in the most important ways, a school that inspires students to be ‘intellectually adventurous thinkers and courageous, compassionate leaders.’ These are the very values that have always been fundamental to me as an educator. Westridge’s mission is also my own.”
Prior to Nightingale-Bamford, Kassar was with the Chapin School, an all-girls school for grades K-12. There, she taught English and served in numerous administrative capacities across all three divisions of the school and on the Chapin Administrative Team. Kassar also serves as an advisor to the semester school at Chewonki in Maine, a program for high school juniors that combines academics and outdoor experiences. At Nightingale-Bamford she served as the faculty adviser for the school’s Middle Eastern student affinity group and at the request of students has also agreed to serve in a similar capacity for the Westridge MENA (Middle Eastern and North African) student affinity group.
She earned her undergraduate degree in English and psychology at the University of Chicago, where she was elected Phi Beta Kappa. She holds a master’s in English and comparative literature from Columbia University and a master’s in psychology from the New School for Social Research. She has done academic research at a psychology lab at the New School and the University of Chicago, and is a graduate of Brearley, a K-12 girls’ school in Manhattan.