Head of school announced for Allendale Columbia School
Shannon Baudo is the new head of school at Allendale Columbia School in Pittsford.
Baudo is the first woman to assume the leadership role. She most recently served as interim head of school and held many leadership positions during her seven years at Allendale Columbia, including assistant head of school and director of enrollment and financial aid.
“This decision was based on the board of trustees’ strong conviction that Allendale Columbia needs a leader who demonstrates expertise in bringing the school community together to build our strategic plan,” said Ann Balderston, board chair. “We are confident of Shannon’s abilities and trust her consistent and proven track record. As interim head of school for the 2020-21 school year, she consistently received positive feedback from our school community — her dedication, critical thinking, decision-making and leadership through the pandemic gave her the experience to step into the role as the permanent head of school.”
Baudo has 18 years of progressively responsible experience working in independent schools, including Canterbury School and the Frederick Gunn School in Connecticut. She joined Allendale Columbia in 2015 and served as a key member of the leadership team. During a three-year period of Baudo’s tenure, overall enrollment increased by 6%, despite the declining demographics of school-aged children in Rochester and last year’s enrollment during the pandemic increased by 11%.
Last year, Baudo navigated the pandemic by announcing Allendale Columbia would be the first school in the region to move to remote learning at the onset of COVID-19. The school offered in-person learning five days a week to all students, while other schools in the region closed their campuses for part or all of the school year.
Under her leadership, Allendale Columbia launched the AC Little School, a program for children 18 months to 3 years that opened its doors in September 2020. The program hit maximum capacity in its first year and, as a result, Allendale Columbia is in the process of expanding the building to accommodate additional families.
Under Baudo’s guidance, Allendale Columbia’s upper school was named the No. 1 Best Private High School in Rochester.
“We are fortunate to have someone in place who has worked collaboratively with an exceptional leadership team, and has overseen both the academic and operational parts of Allendale Columbia,” Balderston said. “Shannon’s multifaceted skill set enhances our momentum moving the school forward, and I am certain the entire school community will benefit from her dedication and passion.”