A New Breed of Trust-Focused Leaders: Steve Loy Building Capacity for the Future | 7 Min Read

Steve Loy, Head of School, Rutger’s Prep School (NJ) is featured as the cover story profile in OESIS Network Magazine, November 2021.

It was a shocking offer.  Steve Loy was just 24 years old when the Head of the Brentwood School in Los Angeles offered him the position of High School Principal. Brentwood was transitioning from a small Military Academy to being one of the first independent schools in the area to build a co-ed strategy in a market that was, at the time, heavily single-sex biased. That extraordinary moment of trust and confidence left a mark on our OESIS Member School profiled Head, Steve Loy, of Rutgers Prep School (NJ).  Six years later at Brentwood, another extraordinary moment of remarkable emotional self-control and grace was to have a lasting impact on his career, and we were to see the culmination of this courage again in 2021.  Join us in the story of how Steve built upon these formative experiences in his decades of leadership to do something virtually no other Head we knew had decided to do.

Six years into his tenure at Brentwood while Assistant Head of School, the Board Chair recommended Steve for an open Headship at the Dunn School near Santa Barbara: the Board Chair had sent one of his sons there for its special skills and learning needs program.  Steve thought, if he were to get this job at age 30, it was time to make this more than a career move. This would be his life’s calling. The first step would be to propose to Philomena, but only after asking her father and mother first, so that together they would take on this opportunity.

 He came over to the Board Chair’s house to share the good news. He had accepted Dunn’s offer and Philomena and her family had accepted him. Steve tells the rest of the story:

And he wasn’t there. He was playing golf. And as his wife said, “he only plays golf when he is very, very angry.” So, I said, “well, I have some news I’d like to share with him. Maybe when he comes back, he could give me a call or you tell me and I’ll call him.” 

So he called me and I said, “I heard you were playing golf. It couldn’t have been a very good day.” And he goes…

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Sanje Ratnavale

Sanje founded OESIS in 2012 and serves as the President of what has grown to become the leading network for innovation at independent schools: the acronym OESIS grew from the initial focus on Online Education Strategies for Independent Schools. He has held senior administrative positions at independent schools including Associate Head of School at a K-12 school for seven years, High School Principal for three years, and CFO for seven years. Prior to making a switch to education, Sanje spent 15 years in venture capital, investment banking, and senior C-level (CEO, COO, CFO) management. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford University (B.A. and M.A. in Law/Jurisprudence). Sanje is based out of Santa Monica.