Introducing our 12th Head of School

Marcel Gauthier

In August 2021, Charlotte Country Day School's Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Marcel Gauthier as our next Head of School. We look forward to welcoming Marcel to Country Day in July 2022.

Head of School Announcement

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From the Search Committee Chairs

August 26, 2021

Dear Country Day community, 

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and Search Committee, we are proud to announce Marcel Gauthier as the 12th Head of School of Charlotte Country Day School. Marcel will join the Country Day community in July 2022, succeeding former Head of School Mark Reed and current Interim Head of School David Mancos.

Following a robust global search guided by our consultants from Spencer Stuart, our Board unanimously selected Marcel from a diverse and impressive pool of outstanding educational leaders. A thoughtful, dynamic leader and educator, Marcel comes to Country Day from his current position as Head of School at Shanghai American School, the flagship independent school in Shanghai with an enrollment of 2,700 students, where he has served since 2014. Previously, Marcel served as Assistant Head of School at the Waterford School and Upper School Head at Spartanburg Day School. He taught English and coached at The Potomac School and the Brentwood School.

Based on extensive planning and a thorough search process, including community feedback, we set out to find a leader with strong strategic vision, and the demonstrated ability to build stronger institutions and community. Marcel stands out based on the depth of his leadership experience combined with the genuine heart of an educator. The search committee was drawn to his strong commitment to excellence in teaching and learning; his sophisticated and nuanced understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; and most importantly, his love of community.

Marcel shares, “My passion is collaborating with others in uniting life-affirming values in education with contemporary strategies and goals. To create a culture of diverse thinkers and practitioners who share a paradigm for extraordinary learning—that is my inspiration.”

We believe strongly that Marcel’s character, decision-making, and collaborative spirit will position our school for excellence in the years ahead and only amplify the great work and legacy of our previous leaders. We want to express our heartfelt thanks to the entire Head of School Search Committee and Faculty and Staff Advisory Committee; the impact of your efforts simply cannot be overstated.

While Marcel will be starting his role in July 2022, you will have many opportunities to get to know him over the course of the current academic year. In the weeks ahead, he will join us virtually to meet with key campus groups, including parents by division, faculty and staff, students, and alumni. More details will be shared in the coming weeks. 

With much excitement,

Shanon Jones, Search Committee Co-Chair
Bill Zimmern, Search Committee Co-Chair
Scott Stevens, Board Chair

From Marcel Gauthier

Greetings, Charlotte Country Day School community!

It is with a sense of excitement that I have accepted the invitation by the Board of Trustees to serve as your next Head of School and to make Charlotte Country Day my next home.

These past months have offered important opportunities for me to engage with school leaders and trustees, review with admiration all that Country Day has achieved, and imagine the opportunity of leading such an exceptional institution.

What has stood out for me during this engagement is Country Day’s unique sense of community. Country Day has a rare authenticity, one that comes from uniting around a shared sense of purpose:

  • a laser focus on what is best for kids
  • the support of great teachers and great teaching
  • the willingness to take innovative risks
  • the courage to address with transparency the challenges of ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion in school culture
  • the strength and success of its strategic efforts
  • the balancing of a pursuit of excellence with a palpable commitment to student well-being

It is clear that Country Day has achieved great things. But it is also clear that the school is poised to continue its journey of leading at the forefront. Together we will ensure that Country Day weathers the challenges of this time with courage and grace; we will maintain the tradition of caring and excellence that is the school’s legacy; and we will define an auspicious path for the future. 

In closing, I’d like to offer my appreciation to the Board of Trustees and all who have engaged with me and helped me begin to understand what Charlotte Country Day School is all about. Although I can’t be there in person at this moment, I am with you in spirit. Know that I will be teaming with trustees, school leaders, and staff to provide virtual opportunities in the weeks and months ahead for us to get to know each other. We will also be collaborating on key elements of planning and operations in order to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.

In the meantime, I await with anticipation the opportunity to come home to Charlotte, step foot on the Country Day campuses, and meet all of you in person. I wish the whole Charlotte Country Day School community an inspired start to the 2021–22 school year!


Marcel G. Gauthier

Career Highlights

Professional Experience
Shanghai American School, Shanghai, China (2014–Present)

Head of School
Deputy Head of School

Waterford School, Sandy, UT (2008–2014)

Assistant Head of School

Spartanburg Day School, Spartanburg, SC (2002–2008)

Head of Upper School

The Potomac School, McLean, VA (1994–2002)

Upper School English Instructor and Head Coach

Brentwood School, Los Angeles, CA (1987–1991)

Middle and Upper School English Instructor and Head Coach

University of North Carolina, Greensboro

MFA, Poetry

Dartmouth College

BA, English and French

Get to Know Marcel


  • Marcel grew up in Hiram, Ohio, where his father was a professor of foreign language at Hiram College for over 30 years.
  • He attended boarding school at Western Reserve Academy and attended Dartmouth College, where he graduated with degrees in English and French.
  • Marcel and his wife Sharol, an accomplished independent school educator herself, married in 1993 and look forward to living on campus.
  • They have two daughters, Sophie 22, and Colette 20.
  • Sophie graduated this past spring from Lewis and Clark College, while Colette is a junior at the University of Washington in Seattle.
  • Marcel has been a teacher and leader throughout the US, holding positions in Los Angeles; Mclean, Virginia; Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Salt Lake City, Utah. Most recently, he has served as Head of School at Shanghai American School in Shanghai, China. He is eager to return home, unite with his family, and become part of the Country Day community!
Fun Facts
  • Hobbies include hiking, photography, and Korean martial arts (two black belts).
  • Master of Fine Arts in Poetry—he is a published poet.
  • An avid runner through high school and college, setting records at WRA that lasted 25 years. He coached cross country and track for many years.

Head of School Search Process

Messages to the Community