A Message From Dr. John M. Botti

Browning’s sixth Head of School Dr. John M. Botti with wife Eliza and their two children, Sean and Nathan.

October 23, 2015

Dear Parents, Boys, Faculty and Alumni,

I write to you to convey my excitement as my family and I prepare to join The Browning School community this coming July. The opportunity to lead your fine school leaves me both honored and humbled. I am honored, as I recognize what a special and significant family I have been invited to join. As someone who has spent his entire professional career working in boys schools, I have admired Browning from afar as a place not only of academic excellence but of clear ethical purpose and commitment. A school dedicated to developing “gentlemen” of integrity and responsibility tells a special story, and I feel privileged to become its sixth Head of School.

Just as I am honored, I am humbled, for it is no ordinary leader who retires at year’s end. I mean to respect Headmaster Clement’s service to the Browning community by minding the essential foundations of the School’s mission and culture. Like Mr. Clement, I intend to continue to advance Browning’s mission to promote “academic excellence and a lifelong love of learning” among its boys.

Head of School at Browning – with its 127-year legacy as one of the foremost boys schools – is a mantle I will not wear lightly. I look forward to visiting you in the near future and beginning the wonderful journey of getting to know you well. I will be eager to hear your thoughts about the School’s strengths and your personal aspirations for its future.  

I am deeply grateful to the Search Committee and the Board of Trustees for their hospitality, guidance and, of course, their invitation on the community’s behalf to become Browning’s next Head of School. I am excited about our work together in the months and years ahead.

Please accept my sincere appreciation for this opportunity. On behalf of my wife Eliza and our sons Sean and Nathan, we look forward to meeting all of you soon.

Warm regards,


John Botti

To learn more about John Botti, please click here for his full biography. 

John M. Botti, Sixth Head of School

John M. Botti was recently appointed Browning’s sixth Head of School and will begin serving in this capacity on July 1, 2016. John has devoted his entire education career to boys school settings and is committed to instilling in his students both an appreciation of academic excellence and a strong ethical grounding.

A native of Hummelstown, Pa., John is the son of a physician and a social worker. He and his younger sister attended Lower Dauphin High School where John was a three-sport athlete and president of his National Honor Society chapter. John matriculated and graduated cum laude from Williams College. In addition to majoring in history, John was captain of the varsity basketball team and earned all-conference and all-academic recognition. He also served as a residential advisor, was active in Habitat for Humanity and volunteered as a youth soccer coach and middle school tutor. 

Upon graduating from Williams, John was offered a teaching position at Salisbury School, the boys secondary boarding school in Salisbury, Conn., where he taught history, was a dorm parent, assisted in the admission office and coached basketball, baseball and soccer.

In 1999 John joined Landon School where he taught AP European History, Modern World History, Ancient World History and a popular humanities survey course. In addition to his contributions as a highly regarded history teacher, John coached varsity basketball, junior varsity soccer and was the faculty advisor for numerous clubs, including the academic quiz bowl team. John held the Paul Landon Banfield Chair in Ethics from 2009-2014 and was responsible for establishing a weekly speakers series in the upper and middle schools focused on issues of moral and ethical concerns. He also integrated parents and alumni into the discussion of character education, organized a bi-annual forum for ethical reflection and supervised weekly exchanges between upper school student leaders and younger boys in the lower and middle schools. 

In 2011 John was appointed Associate Headmaster at Landon. He served as chief administrator of the department heads’ leadership group and was responsible for general academic oversight as well as leading faculty meetings and guiding curriculum reviews. In this capacity, John co-wrote Landon’s most recent strategic plan, led a standing committee on educational technology, and also supervised high-level searches for the Head of Lower School, Head of Middle School and Director of the Learning Center.  

While working at Landon, John met his wife Eliza in 2002, received his master’s in education from the University of Virginia in 2005 and completed his Ph.D. in the history of education from the University of Maryland in 2014. John, Eliza and their sons, Nathan and Sean, are excited to take up residence in New York this summer and join the Browning community in July.

Sixth Head of Browning Announced

Dr. John M. Botti, Browning’s sixth Head of School

October 15, 2015

Dear Browning Community:

On behalf of the Search Committee and the Board of Trustees, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. John M. Botti, Associate Headmaster of Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland, as Browning’s sixth Head of School since its founding in 1888. He will begin his term on July 1, 2016.

Dr. Botti’s appointment comes as the culmination of a process which began last winter when Headmaster Clement announced his intention to retire. John’s appointment was recommended by the Search Committee and unanimously endorsed by the Board of Trustees.

You will hear from John directly in the coming weeks, but know that the Committee and Board were impressed by his independent school credentials, his devotion to educating boys, and his ongoing success in promoting academic excellence. A graduate of Williams College, John also holds a M.Ed. from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. His 16-year tenure at Landon, the prominent boys school outside Washington, D.C., has included roles as a history teacher, coach and, for the last five years, Associate Headmaster. We were also impressed that John oversaw a highly regarded program in ethics at Landon which organized weekly speakers and integrated parents and alumni into the conversation about character education. He and his wife Eliza live on campus with their two sons. Prior to Landon, John taught history at Salisbury School, a boys boarding school in Salisbury, Connecticut.

We thank the members of the Search Committee for their hard work and milestone contribution to the School over the past eight months and acknowledge our search firm, Spencer Stuart, for their assistance in this important endeavor. We invite you to join us in welcoming John and his family during a visit to Browning later in the school year.


Samuel J. Weinhoff P ’10, President, Board of Trustees


Valda M. Witt P ’20, ’22, ’26, Chair, Search Committee


Search Committee

Michael P. Beys ’89, P ’25, ’27, Trustee; President, Browning Alumni Association

Wendy W. Brooks, P ’16, ’18, Trustee 

Paul A. Burke, Trustee; Head of School, The Nightingale-Bamford School

David E. Glaymon, P ’25, ’28, Trustee

Celeste A. Guth, P ’19, Trustee 

Ling S. Kwok, P ’20, Trustee 

Alka K. Singh, P ’18, ’20, Trustee

Search Committee Summer Update

Dear Browning Parents, Alumni, Faculty and Friends:

I wanted to reach out to update you on the Search Committee’s activities during the past few months. We are pleased to report positive progress in our efforts to recruit the sixth Head of Browning, thanks to the hard work of the committee members and of our search firm, Spencer Stuart.

We have continued to meet as a committee through the summer, having had the benefit of direct feedback earlier this spring from all major Browning constituencies via face-to-face meetings between Spencer Stuart and the Parents Association, Alumni Council, faculty and senior administration, as well as through a more broadly circulated poll.

On June 11 during their last meeting before summer recess, I had the privilege of briefing the Browning faculty on the search process up to that point. As of this writing two months later, I am pleased to tell you that the committee has been evaluating a group of extremely qualified candidates.  The search is on schedule and we are excited to carry on with our work as we head into the fall. 

We look forward to the next steps in our process as we begin the 2015-16 academic year and will update the broader Browning community again soon. 

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer and look forward to seeing many of you at school in the coming weeks.


Valda M. Witt P '20, '22, '26
Chair, Search Committee
August 2015

Spencer Stuart Chosen to Oversee Browning Head Search

The Search Committee is pleased to announce the selection of Spencer Stuart to coordinate Browning's search for our sixth Head of School.  With over 50 years of experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, Spencer Stuart will work closely with the committee in the coming weeks and months to attract and vet top candidates for this important position.  This process will be led by Spencer Stuart executives Michele Haertel, our lead consultant and head of the firm's education, non-profit and government practice, and Charles Jordan.  Please click here for Ms. Haertel's biography, and here for Mr. Jordan's. 

The Committee looks forward to providing updates on the search later this spring.


Valda M. Witt P '20, '22, '26
Chair, Search Committee
March 2015


Browning Update: Search Committee Named for Next Head

Dear Families and Friends of the Browning Community:

As a follow up to the January 14 announcement of the retirement of Headmaster Stephen M. Clement, III at the end of the 2015-16 school year, I am pleased to share with you the names of the search committee tasked with finding our sixth Head of The Browning School. The committee, chaired by Valda Witt, has already convened its first meeting and consists of the following Trustees:

Michael P. Beys '89 P '25, '27, President of the Alumni Association

Wendy W. Brooks P '16, '18 

Paul A. Burke, Head of School, The Nightingale-Bamford School

David E. Glaymon P '25 

Celeste A. Guth P '19 

Ling S. Kwok P '20 

Alka K. Singh P '18, '20 

Valda M. Witt P '20, '22, '26, Chair

James S. Chanos P '07, '09, '11, Ex Officio Member

I look forward to providing the community with periodic updates on the committee’s progress as the search moves forward. 


James S. Chanos 

President, Board of Trustees

February 5, 2015

An Announcement from The Browning School Leadership

On January 14, Headmaster Stephen M. Clement, III, along with Board of Trustees President James S. Chanos P ’07, ’09, ’11, announced to the faculty his decision to retire as Headmaster on June 30, 2016, his 28th year at Browning. Immediately after, a printed announcement including messages from both Headmaster Clement and Mr. Chanos was mailed to all constituents of the School. Click here to read this important news. The Board is establishing a search committee chaired by Valda M. Witt P ’20, ’22, ’26, a Vice President of the Board, and will keep constituents informed as the search process gets underway. Headmaster Clement states, “I look forward to working hard with the entire Browning community down to the wire on June 30, 2016!”