The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


The Student Site of Castilleja School


Fact checking “The Sixth ‘C'”

Anya Dalal
Counterpoint looks into six of the claims made in the Oct. 3 blog post.

At just over 4,000 words, “The Sixth ‘C’ is Crisis” covers a wide range of topics in its sixteen-minute read. But is everything the anonymous, self-described “collective” of Castilleja faculty members wrote in the Oct. 3 Medium post true? Here are six of The Sixth “C”’s main points, fact checked by Counterpoint:


1. To find a reason to “justify their decision to remove Nanci [Kauffman] as Head of School,” the board hired a consultant two weeks prior to the announcement that Kauffman would be stepping down.

Yes and no. Kathleen Jamieson, executive advisor and strategic partner to Castilleja and its Board, spoke to members of the faculty and greater community in the weeks leading up to the announcement. Jamieson was formerly the Head of National Cathedral School, an independent all-girls school in Washington, D.C.

There is no evidence that Jamieson’s intentions were to find faults in Kauffman’s leadership for the purpose of excusing an unconfirmed termination. In an email exchange with Counterpoint, Board of Trustees Chair Zac Zeitlin said this claim by The Sixth “C” is “completely false.”

Castilleja’s head of communications Emily McElhinney declined to comment on this subject, and Jamieson told Counterpoint she was unavailable for an interview.



2. The faculty attrition rate for the 2022-23 school year was “notably high” at Castilleja peer schools Menlo, Nueva and Crystal Springs.

This is probably exaggerated. The Nueva School’s head of communications, Karin Wood, confirmed in an email to Counterpoint that the percentage of faculty members departing did not exceed 30%, as it did at Castilleja. Menlo School declined to comment due to school policy regarding matters of employment, and Crystal Springs Uplands School did not respond to Counterpoint’s request for comment.

Because Counterpoint was unable to obtain specific details regarding attrition at the three mentioned schools, it is unlikely that the writers of the blog post can speak with authority on this issue.


3. “Going back to a ‘former Castilleja.’”

This is disputed. Recollections of the rhetoric used at the meeting vary. Because Counterpoint reporters did not attend the All-Hands meeting, we cannot definitively confirm what was or was not said.

According to Zeitlin, this phrasing was not repeatedly mentioned, nor were STBL and Experiential Learning discussed in-depth. Zeitlin said he spoke from prepared notes at the meeting.


4. Castilleja’s Assistant Head of Curriculum & Community is no longer at the school.

To the best of our knowledge, this is true. The Castilleja administration would not confirm if Dr. Nadia Johnson, who served in the role since its inauguration in the fall of 2021, has left Castilleja. However, the blog post is correct that her office has been cleared out.

The reason for her absence or leave remains undisclosed.


5. Student organizations stand to lose time from the updated schedule.

This is false. The post asserts that Counterpoint “is one of the several student-led organizations that stands to lose valuable meeting time due to this sudden schedule revision.” While Counterpoint did lose 25% of its allotted time at the beginning of this school year, this time was not impacted by the September schedule shift.

Since the publication of this article, Counterpoint has even gained one additional dedicated period than originally planned.


6. The administration’s official schedule feedback survey was sent out only one day before the draft of the updated schedule was sent to teachers.

This is true. According to McElhinney and Director of New Campus Design for Learning Josée Band, the school drafted several potential schedules before receiving student feedback, then shared the draft they deemed best fit the results.

While most—but not all—of the claims made in the blog post are based in fact, the authors make broad generalizations and assumptions that at times jeopardize their accuracy. Counterpoint suggests taking the arguments with a grain of salt and reading the post as a rhetorical text, not a strictly factual one.

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About the Contributors
Ruby Dowling
Ruby Dowling, Editor-in-Chief
Ruby Wright Dowling ’24 is an Editor-in-Chief of Counterpoint. She attended the Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute in 2023 and is now an editorial intern at the Los Altos Town Crier. When she’s not reporting, Ruby enjoys scorekeeping at baseball games—especially when the Red Sox are in town.
Anya Dalal
Anya Dalal, Staff Writer
Anya Dalal '27 is a staff writer for Counterpoint. She loves playing sports, especially soccer, and playing with her dog. She also enjoys reading, listening to The Weeknd, making music and eating mint chip ice cream.

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